Google Currents for Android: Better Than the Apple iPad Version, Still Not Great

Google Currents for Android Getting Good Reviews

Google Currents for Android is faster, more full featured and just overall a better app than Currents on iOS, reports our managing editor, Jeremy Lesniak. Here’s the skinny.

Did Google intentionally slight the iOS version of Currents? Maybe not, but this much is certain. Google Currents is a whole lot better when it’s running on Android.

My colleague here at aNewDomain, Todd Ogasawara, reviewed Currents on iOS recently. He was not pleased. He thought it was slow and called it “just another news aggregation app.” I wanted to see if it was just as bad on Android, so I pulled out my rooted Nook Color and gave it a go.

It installed quickly from the Android Market. It immediately started updating the default website feeds. It did take some time to pull down the content — especially considering how much I had and how far back it went — but I thought the performance was reasonable. It wasn’t blazing. Google could do better.

But the Android app certainly isn’t as slow and lackluster as Todd reports it is on iOS.

Google Currents Browsing Screen

Google Currents Browsing Screen

Todd’s critique of the apps back arrow – the small icon in the lower left that looks like it should be a refresh button – is  valid for Android, too. It certainly isn’t an intuitive control and, if it weren’t for Google’s sparse design, I might not have even figured out what it was on first glance.

Google Currents Back Button is Awkward

The sharing functionality worked just as I expected. It's disappointing and a little bizarre that the iOS version doesn't include this feature. It's fast becoming a requisite feature in mobile apps.

Over at the Android Market, the biggest complaint about Currents is its performance during sync. But there still have been 100K plus downloads —  and it’s rated, at this moment anyway, with four stars.

Google Currents for Android Getting Good Reviews

Google Currents for Android Getting Good Reviews

I’m not going to say that Currents is without issues — it should be faster and deserves a facelift so far as its user interface goes. But if you’ve heard it’s rotten on iOS and that’s stopping you from taking a look at it on Android, think again. It’s decent on Android. Not amazing, but decent. Let me know what you think.