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Google unveils Flipboard-like Currents for Android, iOS

Currents is a reader program designed to be a single destination for magazine content, video and photo feeds, and Google+ streams.


Google is going after Flipboard with its own digital newsstand application optimized for smartphones and tablets.

The company unveiled Google Currents, touting it as a central location for news content, video and photo feeds, RSS subscriptions and Google+ streams.

U.S. customers can download Currents application from the Android Marketplace and Apple's App Store and select which publications to subscribe to, as well what streams and feeds to follow. The application also includes a trending tab to find other popular items of interest.

Google said it has partnerships with 150 publishing partners, including AllThingsD, Forbes, and the Huffington Post (CNET is also among the partners), all offering full-length articles.

The Web titan added that it is launching a self-service platform that lets publishers customize the feel and the look of their content, allowing even small organizations to create their own digital publications for Currents.

Currents will take on the pioneer and leader among news reader applications, Flipboard, a product that Apple last year named its iPad app of the year. The Palo Alto, Calif., company has raised more than $60 million from top-tier venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Ventures, and Insight Venture Partners.

Apple has its own app, Newsstand, which stores digital magazines. But the app is limited by the number of subscriptions available, and largely involves paid content.

Last month, Yahoo jumped into the market as well, launching Livestand, its digital newsstand for tablets. And CNN recently purchased Zite, an iPad news-reading app.