Google today announced Fast Flip, a news-browsing service intended to replicate the feel of a paper magazine or newspaper. Fast Flip also has an iPhone version, which is automatically activated when you browse to Fast Flip on your iPhone at http://fastflip.googlelabs.com.
Fast Flip for iPhone lets you choose a category and then flip through stories, essentially screenshots of web sites, as if you were flipping actual pages. To turn a page, just swipe your finger left or right to go to the next or previous story.
You can flip through stories from a single source, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post or Fast Company; or from a single category, like Politics, Business, U.S. or World. Fast Flip also has Recent, Headlines and Most Viewed topics.
Perhaps the Fast Flip function that has the most potential but needs the most work is Search. Ideally, a keyword search should turn up relevant stories to flip through, but as of this writing, searching for “fast flip” yields only 1 result, and a search for “iPhone 3.1” yields only 2, even though both these terms turn up many stories in Google News.
Is Google Fast Flip the Next Big Thing?
Is Google Fast Flip something I see myself using instead of traditional news aggregators? Not sure. But what sets Fast Flip apart from other news sources, like Google News or Regator, is its visual format and the way you can flip through news stories similar to how you browse through albums in iPhone’s Cover Flow.
What Do You Think?
Have you used Google Fast Flip on your iPhone? Do you think it will revolutionize the way we browse news or is it a failed experiment? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.