Google Currents, a news reading app from the behemoth of search, has joined the likes of Flipboard, Pulse, Zite and Livestand in the battle to be the champion of text delivery. Unexciting as that sounds, these apps are actually pretty stylish, with slick interfaces and cool ways of delivering stuff to read. And they’re different enough that you might want to pick one and stick with it as your go-to news reader.
Here’s a quick look at the hottest reading apps for iPhones, iPads and Android devices, and how they stack up:
(LIST: 50 Best iPhone Apps of 2011)
The Gist: Google’s reading app emphasizes professional news sources, such as Forbes, The Guardian and Saveur Magazine. Mainly, you’ll be reading a single publication at a time, but there is a list of featured stories from multiple sources on the home screen, and you can also look through categories of general news topics. It’s available on iPhone, iPad, Android phones and Android tablets.
The Good: Simple list of reputable news sources means you know you’re getting good stuff.
The Bad: No social media feeds or other custom news sources outside of Google Reader and a few of Google’s hand-picked “curators.” Navigation’s a bit choppy in the first version.
The Gist: Flipboard is a virtual meta-magazine, allowing you to flip through pages of content from newspapers, blogs, curators and social media feeds. It’s available for iPhone and iPad.
The Good: Plenty of sources to choose from and endless customization through Twitter lists and other social media sources. The magazine-style page flip animations are just plain cool.
The Bad: Finding sources that you like among Flipboard’s many curated news feeds can be a chore.
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