Google Currents

Google's own news reading aggregation platform, Currents, is receiving an update today with pretty much a complete UI overhaul. When first launching the app, you're now greeted by your news stream. In new Google design fashion, you have a main page, and a navigation bar comes in from the left side to help you select other stories and categories. You can swipe left or right between panels to switch categories, or within an article view to switch between articles. There's also a new widget that's similar to previous Google widgets (like the YouTube one) that let's you flip through cards of recent stories.

More: Get Android Central on Google Currents

Overall the UI is a big departure from what Google was trying to do with Currents in its initial release. This UI feels much more like a "power user" interface more suited to the crowd using Google Reader to aggregate RSS currently. It loses a lot of flare and goes back to the general Google style of efficient minimalism.

You can grab a download at the Play Store link above, and we've got a couple screenshots of the new UI and widget for you to look at after the break. Google has also run through a few details on the update on its Android blog, you can find it at the source link below.

Source: Official Android Blog

Android Central Android Central

Android Central Android Central

 

Reader comments

Google Currents updated with UI improvements, widget

16 Comments

OMG YES, - This is why I was not using Currents, besides the fact it eats battery alive. Sadly I need to find more of a use for it. Maybe they should add more features to it, it would be nice if it could take all my G Reader content and place it in currents.

Does anyone have any opinions as to how Currents compares to Pulse? I tried using Currents a while ago, but it seemed a little premature.. I like pulse for the short bits that it gives you for each story. If I remember correctly, currents was a little more brief, and you had to click on to read full stories.. Apparently I now have the attention span of a 6 year old

Also, read about this story on Pulse. Does currents have a desktop interface to use? I love the distracting endless flow of information to distract me from work all day long

Have you tried Flipboard? I used to use Pulse, went to Taptu(like Pulse but better IMO), and now I am on Flpboard. You may want to check Taptu and Flipboard out.

This is exactly what Currents needed. A simplified minimalist interface and ironically an ability to keep current (pun intended).

The old Currents was constantly out of date (by hours usually) and I found myself just getting my news from all the sites individually when I browsed the web. It also didn't help that the app was slow in both booting and running. I loved the concept and I like to keep most thing I can within the Google egosystem but in the past Currents just was not helpful.

With this update, which I was just playing around with the fixed many of my complaints. It's more simple and more intuitive and I actually see myself using this more than Flipboard or individual apps like The Verge and Huffpo now.

Currents is still in a weird spot that still doesn't work for me in either of the two ways I read my news/social feeds.

Google reader is better for speed and the power user. I use it on my phone.

Flipboard is better for the laid back casual user. I use it on my tablet.

I like the new widget but wish it was for google reader instead and marked articles read when I swiped them away. Would be cool if I could plug my instagram feed into it too.

I don't get why Pulse and Flipboard is so good. Neither of them can be used offline, while Currents can. This is crucial for me because I take the subway which is completely underground. When I'm underground and want to read my feeds, everything is already synced to the phone and downloaded, pics and all. This is why I stuck with Currents despite the battery draining. I guess I got used to that part though.

The UI revamp is nice, but the news stories are still hours behind an rss feed. Even Android Central's feed is not up to date on Currents. Google Reader works well, why can't they make Currents work just as well?

I think I'll keep using the Android Central widget to take me straight to the Mobile Site.

Nothing beats the real thing...

I thought it was just me. Also, I notice that the widget is a bit laggy on uploading on the news. I often come to a page in the widget where it turns white and say "loading"...

That and i cant organize some of the feed before those "technology" section...which is weird

Sure, the widget is great but it displays unrelated feeds (Google pushing their "Featured" crap).

Can't believe this is for real. I hope it's just a bug.

Otherwise it's good.