SAN FRANCISCO, December 8, 2011 (AFP) - Google on Thursday released a magazine reading application for smartphones or tablet computers powered by Android or Apple software.
The California Internet titan worked with more than 150 publishing partners for the US launch of "Google Currents," which is also integrated with the Google+ online social network challenging Facebook.
"Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you're offline," product manager Mussie Shore and technical lead Sami Shalabi said in a blog post.
People were invited to download the application and subscribe for free to publications which include Forbes, The Atlantic, ABC News, The Guardian, and Al-Jazeera English.
"Great content needs a great audience, which is why Google Currents is integrated with Google+ so users can share articles or videos they've enjoyed with their circles," Shore and Shalabi wrote.
The Flipboard-style magazine application was released the same day that Google meshed its popular free Gmail service with its nascent social network.
"We want to bring you a great experience across all Google products which, for Gmail and Contacts, means understanding what you care about and delivering it instantly," engineering director Mark Striebeck said in a blog post.
"If you use Google+, you can now grow your circles, filter emails and contacts by circles, keep all your contact information up-to-date automatically and share photos to Google+, all right from Gmail and Contacts," he said.