People who are used to reading print publications may find it hard to switch to electronic publications. A tool released by Google Labs about a year ago may make the transition somewhat easier. Google Fast Flip enables readers to browse through a range of publications to find stories of interest. This feature captures the look-and-feel of print publications with plenty of visuals, similar to scanning the front page of many publications at once.
The Google Fast Flip web application appears in its own window off of its Google News page.
One feature of Google Fast Flip is under the Popular link, which captures the day’s main stories from a variety of publications. There are links to Controversial and Headline features, too.
The Headlines feature (all dynamically rendered) not only captures some breaking news stories and offers different sections: Politics, Business, U.S., World, Sports, Sci/Tech, Entertainment, Health, Opinion, Travel, and Environment.
One feature emulates the turning of pages, with a blue arrow that helps users navigate through the various stories. To the left of each story is a blue bar that will reveal other story choices when the cursor is placed on the bar, as shown below.
This tool may be customized for those who sign in and then vote on whether they like or dislike a particular source. Web 2.0 tools to share various resources also are available.
Individuals may create Google accounts to personalize their searches. Those with Google accounts (such as for Gmail) may just sign in with their existing identity.
For more information, visit the following Google News article on Fast Flip. To learn which publications are used for Google Fast Flip (and available on your own front page), see Google’s All Sources webpage.
There is a mobile version of Google Fast Flip that currently works on iPhone and Android mobile devices, with adaptations for other mobile platforms coming soon.