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September 15, 2009

Google Fast Flip

Google Labs has been very active lately. The most recent service launched in Google Labs is Fast Flip, a visual version of Google News that encourages serendipitous discoveries.

"Fast Flip is a new reading experience that combines the best elements of print and online articles. Like a print magazine, Fast Flip lets you browse sequentially through bundles of recent news, headlines and popular topics, as well as feeds from individual top publishers. As the name suggests, flipping through content is very fast, so you can quickly look through a lot of pages until you find something interesting," explains Krishna Bharat, the man behind Google News.

The homepage shows thumbnails of the news articles and clicking on the thumbnail loads a screenshot of the article. You can't read the entire article in Google Fast Flip, so you need to visit the original source. The service shows articles from a small number of sources, including BBC News, New York Times, Newsweek and Slate.



The nice thing is that you can quickly go to the next preview by clicking on the blue right arrow or by using the right-arrow key. The service provides recommendation based on the articles you read, you email or explicitly like. There's also a mobile version optimized for iPhone and Android phones.

12 comments:

  1. Worthless IMO

    It's just like google reader but without customization :(

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  2. "There's also a mobile version optimized for iPhone and Android phones at http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/mobile."

    Actually, as the Google Blog explains, the mobile version is accessible at the same address: http://fastflip.googlelabs.com.

    (The /mobile page is just an info page for both desktops and mobile phones.)

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  3. great. Better than reader and igoogle.

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  4. ""The nice thing is that you can quickly go to the next preview by clicking on the blue right arrow or by using the right-arrow key.""

    These blue arrows didn't work when I tried in my Firefox browser . . .

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  5. Nice piece of tech, but I think the regular Google News page is still easier to parse.

    Sifting through the full page previews is slower than reading the headlines on the Google News homepage due to the varying font sizes and heading locations between pages.

    And the thumbnails on the Fast Flip front page add nothing; the in-page heading is too small there, and though you can identify the article source from looking at them, this would be better accomplished by just noting the source next to the (text version) headline. Perhaps showing a prominent picture from each story as a thumbnail would be more useful.

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  6. It is fantastic to read headlines of all the magazines in a single stroke.Please add Indian newspapers in an array . Kudos to you all in the google team.

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  7. It is fantastic to read headlines of all the magazines in a single stroke.Please add Indian newspapers in an array . Kudos to you all in the google team.-P.Sermuga pandian

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  8. You may also like to check out SpaceTime3D at www.spacetime.com.

    SpaceTime3D allows you to search Google web pages, Flickr images, Wikipedia and more using a stunning visual interface that speeds up the search process by allowing you to flip through pages presented in a visual stack of search results.

    I hope you give it a try.

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  9. Great Idea. Yes, add the Indian news papers. And also it would be very helpful if the re is also regional wise categorization.

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  10. Dear Google Group
    I like it very much.please bring such facility in reading Tamil Newspapers in a one go.
    P.sermuga Pandian

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  11. no workie good on moto droid, not intuitive

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  12. It's too bad Google discontinued Fast Flip. I used to use it daily. My organization teaches speed reading classes and we used to recommend it to our students as a great way to read news quickly online. Since Google shut it down, we are now planning to create a similar app, but better. I'll post updates on this project here: http://www.irisreading.com/fastflip

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