Google has unveiled their newest addition to Google news: Fast Flip. Fast Flip is really just a nice, snazzy interface to browse through Google news feeds, but the best way to describe it is to have you try it yourself. So go ahead and check it out a bit before reading on. For more details contact Google customer service and inquire about Fast Flip.
Fast Flip seems like it’s trying to be the end-all solution for newspapers’ transition to digital. Users can quickly browse and scan articles until they find something they want to read in depth, and then they can open the article itself. It’s a perfect example of mimicking, and even improving, some aspects of the hand held tree paper experience.
Fast Flip has also been optimized for Android and the iPhone, which means that smart phone owners can comfortably browse their news on the go. Google’s emphasis on mobile devices means that Fast Flip is, in a way, a competitor to current eReaders. Instead of paying for a subscription to one newspaper and reading it on a device like the Kindle (or the Kindle iPhone app), many people may prefer the ability to skim across articles that Fast Flip provides. Really, it’s this kind of interface innovation that is going to help newspapers stay afloat in the digital age and it’s now up to the eReaders to respond. Some sort of application like this on a Kindle DX would be a killer news app. Sure, the slow refresh rate of eInk would mean no fancy transitions, but a sampling of articles across that huge screen would help close the gap between digital and print news. Let’s hope Amazon can produce something like this with the next generation of Kindles.