An A.P.P.L.E. Review — Google Currents – Is it ready for Prime Time?

When Google Currents was announce yesterday, we were initially a bit skeptical that the app would do what it said it would.  But then we have seen so many supposed publishers come and go quickly due to the fact that they did not do the job as advertised.

As for Google Currents, the app works well and for those who bothered to read the instructions on the Google website, one must first download Chrome Browser.  I really was not thrilled by this requirement but then it is Google and I am sure that they are writing their app for their browser.  The next step after getting to the webpage is to log in.  You can use an existing Google account and Currents will present you with a form for application and tying the publishing system to that account.  For those who are setting this up for usage by many folks, we recommend setting up a new Gmail account.

Once this application is done, the publishing setup screen is presented to you.  When you have completed your set up in the Currents online publisher,adding the feeds to the app and all appropriate graphics, then it shows you what the feed will look like.  The Currents publisher also asks you to verify that you own the server by downloading a simple HTML file and ftp’ing it to your server.  Once this is done, everything should just work once you finish the settings and publish the edition to the web.

On the Apple App Store, many folks said it got only one star.  These people obviously did not bother going to the Currents web page on google first to read the instructions. Frankly, the system was fairly straight forward.  The only thing I didn’t like other than the browser was the fact that a post seems to need to be on a server for 1 hour minimum before the the propagator will pick it up as part of the news feed.  Also the App while it does do what it advertises, is a bit clunky and not exactly intuitive.  1.5 stars off for these issues.

Over all, I would give the APP a 5 for the fact that it does exactly what it advertises but definitely has left a lot of room for improvement.  We did like the view of the app on the actual devices but were less than impressed with the way it handles graphics in the articles.  In the snippets pages, it has issues with sizing of the graphics which is not an issue when the actual article is full page.  Seemingly, the system in incapable of knowing how to resize the graphics so that the view of the articles is clean. This is one area where they will need to improve drastically if Google really wants to compete directly with the folks over at Flipboard.

We enjoyed the experience with the app for the most part, putting our magazine on it, however, since the app does seem a bit of a kludge at points, I only gave the App 3 Apples out of 5.

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About the Author

Bill Martens

A.P.P.L.E. Chairman of the Board and Club president -- Bill worked for the founder, Val J. Golding and A.P.P.L.E. from 1981 to 1982. In 1999, he began archiving the materials which were distributed and sold by A.P.P.L.E.. That project led to the group that remained of A.P.P.L.E. Bill was involved in the financial industry in Tokyo and has over 20 major office infrastructure projects to his name. In March 2001, he retired to write books and to spend more time pursuing personal interests. As the president of the users group, Bill is in charge of distribution of Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine as well as the organization of this web site. Bill currently resides in Tokyo, Japan and Shelton, Wa splitting time between the places.