Google Currents 2.0 Unleashed in a Massive Upgrade

The initial release of Google Currents — Google's Flipboard competitor — came with much fanfare, but didn't quite live up to the hype.

A new version was recently unleashed in the Play Store with a significant number of improvements.

The first noticeable change is a strict adherence to Android design guidelines. The app looks and behaves much like Google’s other Android apps. The most distinctive addition is the trademark Android sidebar, which now groups publications into sections (News, Science & Technology, Lifestyle, etc) automatically.

Adding a magazine on Currents is as simple as either browsing featured sources or using the search function, which is now powered by Google search itself, and clicking the ‘add’ button.

The search capability also allows Google to deliver breaking news to your phone or tablet, relative to your location.

Currents also handles RSS feeds quite well, and if you use Google Reader, setup is a breeze. Just go to the ‘feeds’ section in the sidebar, click ‘customize,’ and add any or all of your feeds from Reader directly into Currents.

To browse stories, just click on a section or publication, then swipe left or right. Publications with more than one section offer a drop-down menu to peruse them all.

The new version also has a save function, allowing you to save a story for later reading, and if you happen to be offline, Google claims to have vastly improved the offline functionality.

Sync has also been improved (at least on my device); I know of more than a few instances of Currents’ background sync causing problems platform-wide on Android devices. That doesn’t seem to be the case in the new version.

One major aspect of the update is the inclusion of a widget, which, truth be told, is absolutely gorgeous and insanely functional. Just swipe through stories (very quickly, I might add), and touch to read.

All in all, this is a huge update, bringing Google Currents to the forefront of mobile news readers. It’s well-designed, easy to use, and has the content library to please the most avid readers.

This update, to version 2.0, only included Android this time around, but iPhone and iPad version are expected soon.

As a bonus (in case you didn’t notice from the gallery above): Sssimpli is now available via Google Currents- just search for Sssimpli to add us.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with the button below, and don’t forget to subscribe for more Sssimpli goodness. Need more to read? Check out Links, a handpicked digest of the week’s best tech writing.