Google released an update to the news reader it hasn't abandoned today, adding a bunch of support for audio-centric features. Playlists are now available for editions that contain audio content, and users will be able to play, pause, and jump forward or backward in the playlist. There are even status bar controls added for when audio is playing, so you don't have to sit staring at a blank playback page while listening.

Here's the full change log:

What's in this version:

* Audio playlist for editions with audio
* Audio media bar in app for stop, start, next, previous
* Story scanner audio icons for launching Audio directly
* Status bar audio controls when Currents audio is playing
* Syncing post read state between devices
* Bug fixes

It sounds a lot like Google is gearing up to make Currents more than just a guided content scraper. The search giant wants the app to be a real contender for distribution platform. By giving producers the ability to control the presentation of their articles, videos, and now audio (potentially leading to better podcast distribution), it's nicer than ever. Oh, and it even syncs your reading position between devices. Just like that other product.

It's not going to make anyone less bitter about Reader's imminent demise, but it sure is an improvement.

The app was not found in the store. :-(