Publish, Read News With Google Currents

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 12, 2012
Updated • Apr 20, 2012

Ghacks readers from the United States may have already come into contact with Google Currents, Google's news aggregation service for mobile devices. Back then Google the Currents app for Android and iOS devices allowed users to read publications on those mobile devices.

Google yesterday announced the international availability of Currents, and an upgrade to Google Currents 1.1 that improves the app's synchronization capabilities. Another new feature is the integration of Google Translate, which readers can use to translate news, so that it is now possible to keep taps on foreign news even if you do not speak the language. And while computer generated translations still do not come close to proper human translations, they usually provide enough information to understand what's being said.

google currents translate

Interested users can download Google Currents on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Website and YouTube channel owners can furthermore add their site as a publication to Google Currents. This is done on the Google Currents Producer page, which can only be accessed in Google Chrome and only if a Google account is available.

Google Currents Producer

Creating an edition should not pose a problem to most webmasters. You basically have to give it a name, and add a RSS feed or YouTube channel name to it to get started. Those are optional on the other hand.

google currents publisher

When you click Create and then Done, you are taken to the admin dashboard where you can make additional changes to the publication before it is published.This includes a preview of how the publication's contents may look like on all supported devices, and options to make your edition stand out by adding an icon and a splash image, selecting an appropriate category or user configuring user and usage info collection.

google currents

Sections lets you add new sections to the publication. This includes social updates, photos, or articles from Google Docs, or Epub or HTML documents.

Distribute finally lets you  test the publication on Android and iOS devices, select whether you'd like to make it available to a worldwide audience or limit access to a specific country or region, and select the primary language of the publication.

Webmasters also need to verify content ownership, which can be done only if the domain the external content is hosted on has been verified at Google Webmaster Central.

A click on Publish publishes the new publication. Google Currents displays a link pointing to that publication under Publish afterwards, which you need to distribute manually first.

When you first publish an edition, you'll be shown a URL which you can distribute. Ask your readers to install Google Currents and then access this link on their iPhone, iPad, or Android device in order to directly subscribe to your edition. When a reader opens the link in their mobile browser, they'll see a simple page describing the edition. They can tap the blue button labeled Read in Google Currents to open the edition in the Currents app and start enjoying your content.

Once a publication reaches 200 subscribers, it will be accessible in search results based on the edition's name and description. Google may also promote exceptional publications within Google Currents.

Here is the Ghacks Publication that you can subscribe to. Keep in mind though that you need to download the Google Currents app first, before you can do so.

Closing Words

Google Currents is not that different from reading RSS feeds. It is more versatile for publishers in some regards, for instance by allowing them to combine RSS with YouTube and social updates in one publication. Users who are already reading RSS on their mobile devices on the other hand won't benefit that much from Currents in its current form.

Content producers may gain readership once they break the 200 subscribers mark. It is likely that monetization options will be added at a later time to Currents, which might increase income that a website generates. Then again, Currents may also keep users away from the site, just like RSS does.

Have you installed the Google Currents app yet? If so, what is your impression so far?


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Morten myrstad said on May 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Hi! I am mac-based and wants to create a channel. But as I understand it, Producer requires Chrome. And Chrome is yet not available on iPad or iPhone. And on my mac desktop I receive a 404 Error message trying to reach Do you have any advice?

  2. Crodol said on April 13, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I installed Google Currents last night and it makes a good first impression but I need more time to evaluate. The feature that got me interested is that they say OFFLINE reading is supposed to be easy and I often need that, e.g. during a flight.

    With Opera you have to save each website separately and if you forget to save the pages and only open them, then everything is gone when not online.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 13, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Let me know how this works out for you.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.