updated 12:59 pm EST, Wed November 20, 2013
Initial launch limited to Android devices
Google has launched a new Android app, Google Play Newsstand, that provides access to more than 1,900 free and paid publications. Users can pick from various magazines, newspapers, blogs and news websites, and the app will automatically format and optimize the content for viewing on a tablet or smartphone.
The newsstand portal essentially serves to centralize and combine Google's Currents app, which organizes favorite blogs and news websites, with the subscription content currently placed in the Google Play magazine store. Available content has also been expanded with paywall news from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among others.
The service appears to be a direct competitor to Flipboard, pulling article content from each source and reorganizing it into a unified layout that users can quickly peruse and access while offline. Google promises that its Read Now content will continue to improve recommendations as the user reads more content.
Google Play Newsstand is currently available as a free download from the Play Store. The company has yet to confirm launch plans for an iOS equivalent.