Oct 28 AT 2:59 PM Dustin Earley 16 Comments

Google’s Flipboard clone, Propeller, launching next week


Last year, when Google tried to purchase the innovative content reader application Flipboard, they were greeted with a confident decline. With a $200 million valuation and over 4 million downloads so far, it’s clear why Flipboard thinks they can be plenty successful on their own. But that decision may come back to haunt them. Google told Flipboard that if the company didn’t sell now, Google would be coming back with a product of their own. That product is going to be called Propeller, and it should be launching next week.

Just in case you aren’t entirely familiar with Flipboard, it’s very similar to Pulse in that you can read any type of content (magazines, RSS feeds, social networks) in an interactive, social way. You flip through very minimal page designs that highlight pictures and strong headlines, giving your favorite content a more pleasing layout. You can also share anything you read, and view content from other users that you are connected with. Other companies are looking to get in on this. Yahoo and Google both have versions in the works, going by Livestand and Propeller respectively.

Propeller is an internal name for Google’s new reader, though “sources close to the situation” say the name just might stick. “Currents” is another name under consideration, but either way, the app will do the same thing. It’s going to be HTML 5 based, and will work with both Android and the iPad. There should be a healthy amount of social integration put into Propeller, especially when it comes to Google+. Just yesterday, Google announced a new feature in Google+ called What’s Hot. It’s very possible that Google could not only make What’s Hot a centerpiece for Propeller, but make all of your circles viewable in a slightly less Facebook-esque way. Propeller would also have to work with Google Reader right off the bat if they want to be competitive.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on Google next week when they should be unveiling their latest weapon in the content wars.

Source: All Things D

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • http://www.winniekepala.com WinnieKepala

    If I remember correctly, Google also mentioned that they are revamping Google Reader and integrating their RSS share with Google+. Could this “Propeller” project be it? Or a variation (mobile version) of it?

  • muadhnate

    Is it me, or is Google set on world domination?


    • muadhnate

      Will this be how Skynet gets started?

      • Ish

        I’m thinking that using Soundify to use the Terminator theme as the boot cycle completed alert would make this all the more complete.

    • Will

      I for one, welcome our new android overlords

  • mike

    Um…what about Feedly?

    • Gee

      Some similarities but flipboard is more engaging and has a much slicker way of presenting aggregated content.

  • Bob,Boulder, Colorado

    first we had big auto then big OIL, then big pharma, then big media, then big banks, then big telecom. Ultimately Apple and Google want to do everything under the sun. We are now in the era of Big tech. Ultimately customers get screwed whenever there are only few big companies. I hope government cuts down the sizes of Apple and Google and regulate them properly like how they do to Banks, telecoms, pharma companies etc.

    • http://www.leperkhanz.com rhY

      The real answer is limiting every corporation to less than 50 employees. That would ensure good jobs and competition indefinitely in a free market. Unless that happens, there will eventually be a global violent insurrection pitting the populace against corporate police.

    • Futureboy

      Let me start by saying that no company should ever be given a blanket exemption from potential regulation, but to incite a mob and break out the torches and pitchforks based solely on the size of a company rather than its actions is a little short-sighted.

      And please excuse my Google-centric comments below, but this is an Android blog after all.

      That being said, as long as Google maintains people’s privacy and keeps access to information free and open, why is its size so intimidating? Just take a look at what this company has been doing. Most of what Google has released to the world has been free (or ridiculously low priced). Sure they make their money on the back end of a number of these services from ads and such, but this is the business model for many companies. And business funding through advertising has been a successful model for decades

      Furthermore, Google’s contribution to the world has been astounding. Google Earth, Maps, Android, Free Mobile Navigation, Translate with conversation mode, Google Goggles, which makes learning about arts, culture and the world around you incredibly easy, Google+, a social network devoid of ads that are an affront to the eyes – and the list goes on and on. These are just a few of the things they offer, all done in a manner that doesn’t try to cram content or ads down our throats. Sure, they make money from these services, but they do so in a way that in some way seems quite respectful of their end users.

      Apple… well… Apple is an innovation leader which has given us incredibly beautiful devices, and they are the catalyst for innovation by others as well. Their contribution to the betterment of humanity may not be as far-reaching as Google (with respect to what they bring to the table beyond their devices), but I am certain that the majority of us die-hard Google/Android fans have the utmost respect for what they do.

      As long as Google and Apple continue to exist (relatively) harmoniously in a free market, the consumer will win. As long as their business models remain relatively the same, the world will continue to improve through their hard work and innovation.

      And speaking again specifically about Google here for a second, when has big oil/pharma/media/banks/telcom every given even a fraction of what Google has given to the people (excluding donations in the form of accounting-inspired tax deductions).

      These companies should be encouraged to grow and should be rewarded for their contributions.

      So blow out the torch and put the pitchfork back in the barn for now. We’ll let you know if and when it’s needed.

      • Vic

        And what happens when the predominantly ‘good’ people in charge of Google now are no longer in charge?

        It’s the same reason why more power shouldn’t be given to the President/Congress/Supreme Court than what’s given in the Constitution.

        The person/persons in power at the time might be Jesus/Gandhi/Buddha rolled into one, with nary a dream of misusing their power, but no such guarantee can be given for the next in charge.

        You should read more of your history books.

        • Vic

          Just to note, my concerns are mostly limited to their retention of private information.

          I do use Google and I support them in general. I just think anyone is naive to take the position that anyone having too much power/control is a good thing, just because they haven’t abused it yet.

          • Futureboy


            The main issue I had with Bob, Boulder Colorado’s post is the statement, “I hope government cuts down the sizes of Apple and Google and regulate them properly…” That seems a bit alarmist, wouldn’t you agree?

            I think you and I are both on the same page though perhaps looking at it a bit differently.

            Keep in mind, right off the bat I said that, “no company should ever be given a blanket exemption from potential regulation” and that includes Google.

            I’m with you on your point that just because “good” people are in charge now, it doesn’t mean that they will never go bad. But limiting the growth of a company just because they’re big and some people are afraid isn’t the answer.

            There should be a law that applies to every single business everywhere that regulates how people’s private information is used. The real answer is to give the public control over the use of their own private information. That’s what it all boils down to. We shouldn’t be singling out companies like we’re on a witch hunt. That’s simply “treating the symptoms and not the problem.” The call to arms should be for the protection of our information, and the battle should be with those who are allowing all businesses to misuse our information in the first place.

  • http://www.feedly.com Edwin Khodabakchian

    Hi Dustin. I am curious. Have you ever tried Feedly https://market.android.com/details?id=com.devhd.feedly&hl=en Works with Android tablet, phone, iOS, Chrome and Safari (and AndroidAndMe is one of the essentials)

    • Dustin Earley

      I am going to download and look it over now.

  • pritams

    gotta give this a try…