Flipboard Vs Google Currents: Battle of the magazine apps
Flipboard, the magazine-esque social media app, was finally released to all Android users earlier on this month.
It was a move long awaited for by Android phone owners as its popularity on the iPhone has been phenomenal. Google, on the other hand, tried its own hand at releasing a similar app called Google Currents much earlier on in the year, and its most recent update has placed the app in a position ready to contend with Flipboard.
Now with a charming blue circle instead of the weird rainbow doughnut they had as a logo earlier on, Google Currents is well on its way to becoming a proper competitor. Currents has a Trending feature where it lists the top worldwide stories alongside a Library feature where you can add your favourite websites and publications for regular article updates. Flipboard of course uses trending articles to its full advantage as well, giving it a giant square on the main page called ‘Cover Stories’ to keep users up to date with the latest news.
However, while Flipboard focuses on stories and categories, Currents focuses on the publication, and that is the greatest difference between them both.
In that sense, Flipboard manages to look more minimalistic because all you have to do is flip between Cover Stories. You can look for something more specific in the categories Flipboard provides — such as music or fashion — and all you have to do is add it to your board and it’ll give you different publications to flip through. So far I haven’t been able to choose the publications in the categories themselves, but you can actually add your own favourites such as Total Film or NME to look through separately.
Still, Flipboard is better at providing a roundup of all the latest articles in a specific category even though you can’t choose what you read, whereas with Currents you may have to mentally collate stories of the same category together. What Currents does do is give you the immediate choice to choose publications you are interested in and gives you choices such as News, Photos or Reviews within them to look at. If you trust one magazine or newspaper more than another, it’s easy to access it straight away.
Finally, one really interesting feature that has to be mentioned is that Flipboard also incorporates social media into the stories you flip through and when you search, the results can be separated into tweets, Twitter users, RSS feeds, Flickr, Tumblr. Its use of social media is so different and refreshing that this feature alone allows Flipboard to trump Currents — well — the current version, anyway.