Google Said to Be Working on Flipboard Competitor Propeller

    September 16, 2011
    Chris Crum

Google is reportedly working on a Flipboard competitor. Robert Scoble, the guy that knows just about everybody in the tech industry, posted the following on his Google+ account:

I heard from someone working with Google that Google is working on a Flipboard competitor for both Android and iPad. My source says that the versions he’s seen so far are mind-blowing good.

It sure sounds like Google is storing up quite a few social announcements. I wonder if they are waiting for Facebook to make its announcements next week and then will open the door to a raft of new things? I hope so.

Those Facebook announcements he is referring to would be the company’s f8 developer conference. It remains to be seen what all the company will unveil, but Facebook certainly has put a great deal of emphasis on using Facebook as a tool for news and journalism in recent memory. They’re also reportedly working on making social versions of publications on their respective Facebook pages.

It would make a great deal of sense for Google to offer a Flipboard-like service, given the products it already has, such as Google News and Google Reader. I would imagine that these could power such a service with some nice interface design added over top of it, but we don’t know exactly what Google has in store here, though 9to5Google says, “people familiar with the project” say it “will boast a prettified interface,” and..

“Publishers will be able to package their content for distribution right within their web browser, using a dedicated web app. Layout options are said to include multiple layouts to target various tablet and phone brands, including iPhone and iPad. Navigation capabilities will include individual articles, table of contents, as well as browsing custom-made sections that curate multiple articles. Images, video and other rich media types are also at disposal.”

It also makes sense in the sense that Google tends to offer up competitors to just about everything in tech.

If you’re unfamiliar with Flipboard, here’s what that looks like:

Google is calling its product Propeller, according to Kara Swisher’s sources, though it’s unclear whether that will be the name at launch and when that launch will actually be.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.