By Lisa Carlin

Google has launched Google Currents, a new application for Android devices, iPads and iPhones that lets users explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger. (Now we know why Google Reader has taken a backseat).

Google has worked with more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, and Fast Company, among others. The content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing users to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you’re offline.

To get started, simply download the app and choose the publications you want to subscribe to for free. You can also add RSS, video and photo feeds, public Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions you’re already following. In addition to consuming your favorite media, you can also use the trending tab to discover related content that matches your tastes.

Google is also launching a self-service platform that gives publishers the flexibility to design, brand and customize their Web content.

Google Currents is integrated with Google+ so users can share articles or videos with their circles. Publishers can also associate their account with Google Analytics in order to increase their awareness of consumers’ content preferences, device use and geographic distribution.

Google Currents is now available for download in Android Market and the Apple App Store for US users.