Google’s Android platform has been receiving a lot of press over the past few weeks. The announcement of 10 billion Android market app downloads, the Google+ app update, and the new customized search features for Androids. It is obvious that Google is having tremendous success with the Android OS. They have spend a lot of time and effort into creating the Android platform and community and can’t afford to let it fall to any of the competition. To ensure the continued success of their creation, Google is constantly improving and upgrading the platform as well as the applications that are available for free. One of the main selling points for the original Android phones was that the majority of apps were free, sometimes the same apps that required purchasing for an iPhone. Add to the list that it was open source, and provided a platform that any mobile communication device could potentially be based off. It is clear that Google’s attempts at building something change the communications market have succeeded.
Google just recently added a new app for Android devices called Google Currents. I was having issues with my Android Market and couldn’t get the program to download until today, so I have refrained from discussing the topic until I had it in hand. That moment has come and I must say I am quite impressed with the program. The app is a news slider that offers some nice features. Icons of major news websites and blogs are displayed at the bottom of the screen as a picture scrolls through on the top of articles from the different information sources you have selected. This is your library, they have quite a few options, but they are definitely limited. Google can’t really be expected to have every option on the internet that is possible.
The different sources of information for your library are arranged in a number of categories based on subject. The list is impressive:
- Science & Tech
Not bad for a free application. The contents of hundreds of magazines are basically at the tips our fingers. I am sure many print companies are not happy about the change to online media, but it is inevitable and paperless is the future. E-readers and Android apps for specific news sites have been existence for awhile. It was only a matter of time before someone collected the information and presented it in a user friendly manner. In this case, and in most cases, that entity is Google.
The library feature on Google Currents is only half of the app. There is a tab next to “Library” tab that says “Trending”. And you guessed it, they find the most popular stories that are trending at the moment and display them according to the subject matter. This has to be my favorite feature, current information that is updated for me. Keeping up to date events and news stories has never been easier. Just like the library, there are different trending options:
- Top Stories
Even though this is my favorite feature, I have to admit it was developed for those who are less media savvy. Most people know what publications they prefer to read, but if you don’t the trending feature is a great way to find new sites, blogs and writers. And if you do find something that is new and interesting it can be easily shared from your mobile device or tablet. There is a built in share feature that allows currents to be sent to friends while you are reading them. On method is never enough so Google has offered quite a few:
- Friend Stream
- Instant Message
- +1 for your circles to see
As with all of the recent updates, Google makes sure they flawlessly meld with the services they already provide. Google Currents is a perfect way to promote the use of other services they provide like Google+ through sharing currents with friends. It does not look like Google is a search company any more, they want to provide an entire technology experience to users that cannot be found anywhere else.
Google is responsible for some of the best free services ever created. Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Street view, Android, Google Search, etc. The problem is that Google is taking over many different industries where these services created jobs in the past.