November 21st, 2009

Google Fast Flip – A faster way to get your news?

A new Google Labs experiment called Google Fast Flip wants to help people read news online in a faster format. From the Google Blog Post regarding this new “experiment” it talks about how long it takes to read the news on the web as you wait for each page to load for a news article. What Fast Flip is trying to do is make reading the news online similar to reading the news in print, finding a way to “flip” pages quickly just as you would a newspaper or magazine page with your finger, instead you’re flipping from one article to another. If you want to read the complete article you need to click on the page for it to open on the news website.

There are 4 categories for viewing:

  • Popularity (Most Viewed, Recommended, & Headlines)
  • Sections (Politics, Business, U.S., World, Sports, Sci/Tech, Entertainment, Health, Opinion, & Travel)
  • Topics (Randomized, changes each time you refresh the page, e.g. Argentina, Stock Market, etc.)
  • Sources (Randomized, changes each time you refresh the page, e.g. BBC News, NY Times, Salon, Newsweek, The Atlantic, etc.)

It’s an interesting idea and could be useful if you want to get the headlines on a particular topic or subject, and it does allow you to move through content pretty fast. However it’s currently somewhat limited, but experiments in Google Labs are often changing as they receive feedback and try to improve the product. The Topics & Sources links change every time you refresh the web page. You might have fun clicking on one of the random topics and viewing the news stories related to that topic, but if you wanted to focus on a specific topic then you’re probably better off either clicking on one of the Sections links, which has sections like you’d find in a regular newspaper (see bullet point above).

There is also a mobile option, for those of you with fancy mobile devices that connect to the Internet. iPhone and Android devices can access Mobile Google Fast Flip by pointing their browsers to http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/mobile.

Check it out at http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/.

googlefastflip

-Sommer

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