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Friday, December 9, 2011

Google launches online magazine-format content in the USA

Google has introduced a new tablet and smartphone application called Google Currents. It works on Android and iOS devices to let users read online magazines and other multimedia content. Over 150 publishing partners are already involved, including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Huffington Post and Fast Company, although the service is currently available to consumers in the USA.

Google Currents also works with RSS feeds, Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions - and enables any online publisher to create their own content.

[Google Mobile blog]

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1 comments on article "Google launches online magazine-format content in the USA"

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Mark Swift

12/9/2011 5:08 PM

I know this is a bit nit-picky, but maybe it's time to coin a new term for the type of "magazine" medium covered in this post. The reality is that digital publications like this behave very unlike a print magazine, have a completely different feel and offer a totally different reading experience. Digital magazine flipbooks, while far inferior to print, at least attempt to simulate the print format, but the newer apps are something totally their own and don't at all approximate their dead-tree counterparts. I'm really not trying to be argumentative, and I know the point is a tiny one — I just think we're at the point in the evolution of digital media where we should probably come up with some new terminology (much as "websites" were coined to accommodate the rise of information on the Web. The problem with the term "magazine" is that people tend to expect the print experience out of the digital platform, which is impossible given today's technology — and probably shouldn't be attempted anyway. Content apps are truly their own thing, so why not give them a new classification? The floor is open for suggestions.

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