Google is readying a new socially-enabled news reader app, Google Propeller, which will take on well-known rivals like Pulse and Flipboard in addition to challenging Facebook’s recent news additions. Propeller is expected to be available both on Android Honeycomb tablets and Apple’s iPad, AllThingsD‘s sources reckon, and is one of a number of apps and services the search giant has in the pipeline.
Earlier this month, Google killed its Fast Flip news reading system as part of what was described as a “spring clean” of the company’s various ongoing projects. Fast Flip took screenshots of news sites and presented them in an easily browsed flipbook format, “as quickly as flipping through a magazine,” with a tap loading the site itself. At the time, Google said that the concepts behind Fast Flip “will live on in our other display and delivery tools.”
It seems that Propeller is likely to be one significant place in which those concepts will resurface. The exact functionality the app will offer is unclear – we’re guessing some sort of streamlined, finger-friendly UI fed with Google News topics that automatically tracks readers’ interests and bubbles relevant stories up to the surface – as is the timeline for its release.