Google Currents For Android Gets Huge Facelift, Sidebar, Widget & More
Justifiably slotted at the number one spot on our list of best Android apps of 2011, Google Currents is arguably one of the best news readers apps available to Android and iOS users. The Android variant of Google Currents has just been bumped to v2.0 with numerous highly-anticipated features, including a dedicated scrollable home screen widget. When it comes to the UI, the main screen of the app has been totally revamped to include an Edition sidebar that allows instant access to editions falling under various categories including news, sports, entertainment, feeds and pick of the week etc. Navigation to your desired content has been improved drastically with the introduction of various gestures that help users quickly sift through their editions as well as news stories falling under a particular edition. The app now provides even better control over management and customization of content. Moreover, stories can be bookmarked for quick access, and read stories can be easily identified on the feeds with the added semi-transparency effect. Read on to learn more about the update.
Among other changes incorporated within the app, the brand new catalog design now makes navigating to any news category and subscribing to preferred editions a breeze. Under each supported category, you now get a chance to glance at the most important stories, with their ranks determined by none other than Google News itself. Users craving for a dedicated Google Currents home screen widget can rejoice, as a large scrollable and resizable widget now lets you instantly check the latest stories without having to separately launch the app itself.
Admittedly, the main UI of Google Currents for Android looks nothing similar to what it looked just last night before the update. Instead, it’s been improved substantially to give the likes of Flipboard and Pulse a good run for their money. Each category has been assigned a dedicated magazine-style front page depicting featured images from the subscribed content. Swiping horizontally on this front page launches the relevant breaking stories screen followed by the editions you’ve subscribed to. Once on the required edition or source, you can swipe vertically to go through the latest stories from the source.
Tapping the Customize option for any category in the app’s newly introduced sidebar lets you perform various actions such as specifying the view order of the editions in the category, removing an edition from the list, subscribing to new sources, and selecting the required source(s) for which you want the offline reading feature to be enabled by default. Once on a story screen, you can tap Menu > Star to bookmark the article. All the items starred in this way can then be accessed by navigating to the Saved section from the sidebar.
All in all, it’s a pretty hefty update that blows the competition out of the water and is more than worthy of earning Google Currents much-deserved praise and a wider user-base. As of now, the update is exclusive to the Android variant of Google Currents. A similar update for iOS has also been promised, and it shouldn’t be long before iDevice owners can enjoy all these exciting new features on their devices.