Report: Google developing Propeller social reader for Android and iOS


Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is reportedly at work on Propeller, a social and news reader designed to compete with Flipboard, the popular iPad application that lays out personalized headlines, photos, videos and social media content in a magazine-like format.

Tech evangelist and blogger Robert Scoble first reported on Propeller Thursday, stating "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." All Things Digital subsequently confirmed the Propeller initiative with numerous sources close to the situation, adding it is one of several social-themed efforts currently in the Google pipeline.

Flipboard--co-founded by former TellMe CEO Mike McCue and onetime Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) senior iPhone engineer Evan Doll--launched in mid-2010. Inspired by the look and format of traditional print publications, the free Flipboard app assembles pages from content within the user's social media network, rendering links and images directly inside the magazine--users may also create sections based on topics or people most important to them.

All Things Digital adds Google entered negotiations to acquire Flipboard last year. Flipboard--currently valued at about $200 million--declined Google's overtures. Sources say Google told Flipboard that if the two sides could not reach an agreement, it would introduce its own magazine-style social reader app, joining other Flipboard rivals including Yahoo's Livestand and Zite.

For more:
- read this All Things Digital article

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