FLUD gets more social, Google releases Currents
Last week we saw the release Flipboard for the iPhone, then came news that FLUD has a new version of its reader app which lets you share your stories more easily. Meanwhile, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) also released a news reader it's calling Currents.
Let's start with FLUD, which did a nice little upgrade to its interface and made it much more social by letting you set up profiles so people can see what you're interested in reading, and you can follow other users to see what they're reading too. You can FLUD an article, which basically means you like it and when you open an article you can see other users who have viewed that article.
The video below provides a high-level introduction to FLUD:
Note that the upgrade is for iPhone and iPad, and the applications is free.
Last week, we also saw Google's entry into the reading application space. They are calling it Currents and it's not a bad a first step. But it debuted the news reading application the same week that competitors Flipboard and FLUD rolled out new releases.
As I wrote on Google +, "On its own, it's a pretty nice tool. Compared to the competition it doesn't really stack up though. I like the integration with Google +, but the interface is cluttered and it lacks a distinct wow factor you get when using Flipboard and FLUD."
One other thing to keep in mind though is Google's sheer size and it is trying to work with publishers to give them a self-service platform, which according to the Google blog post, "gives publishers the flexibility to design, brand and customize their web content."
Google is offering Google Currents for free in the Android Market and Apple App Store.
It should be interesting to see how this market shakes out, and when we'll start to see some consolidation, but these offerings all have different strengths and it's wide open for now.