Google launched Google Currents and released Android and iOS apps. I installed the app and it is a beautiful app but I couldn’t help but notice its similarities to an app that has been around for a while: Feedly. Take a look at these two videos which demonstrate both services’/apps’ functionality:
Feedly is more explicitly a service which uses Google Reader as its content source. Its similarities to other feed readers pretty much stops there. Feedly doesn’t use the classic “subscription” and “feed” terminology. It talks about “following” content sources and gives you the ability to share widely using services like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and save content to Instapaper, Evernote and other services.
I tend to use Reeder for my feeds (I still refer to them as feeds, I am that retro) but Feedly is my next best choice. Currents is a beautiful looking app (to my layperson’s eyes) and worth exploring. It emphasizes Google+ sharing but you can also share or save to other services like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instapaper and Pinboard. I’ve seen a couple tweets about Currents being a Flipboard challenger but I think a better comparison is with Feedly. Flipboard is more of a discovery service where you read whatever other people have chosen to share. With Currents and Feedly, you choose your sources. You just don’t get into RSS-land, at least not explicitly.
What I find interesting is that services/apps like Currents and Feedly show that we still want to read our “feeds” but we just don’t want to deal with the geekier feed-related terminology or formats. We prefer a nicely designed interface to the classic Google Reader interface but we want our sources and our content just the same. Thank goodness. For a while there, I thought Twitter really would become the only way we read content.