Google News given a ma­jor over­haul

Google is over­haul­ing its News app, mak­ing it eas­ier to find news from sources you trust, writes JA­SON CROSS

Android Advisor - - Contents -

Af­ter years of mi­nor up­dates, Google is fi­nally rolling out a ma­jor over­haul of its News plat­form. An­nounced at Google I/O, the new Google News is more per­sonal and cus­tom­iz­a­ble, made to bet­ter sur­face the news you care about from the sources you trust. Up­dates are avail­able now.

For You

When you first open the new Google News, you’ll be greeted with a per­sonal brief­ing of the top five sto­ries se­lected for you. These are cho­sen by AI that scours the web and se­lects sto­ries it thinks you’ll care about the most, given your in­ter­ests and pre­ferred sources. Scrolling past that, you’ll see more sug­ges­tions, again se­lected by AI. It looks for lo­cal news sto­ries as well, as­sem­bling them into a per­son­al­ized Lo­cal sec­tion. The For You tab will use the vast amount of in­for­ma­tion Google al­ready has about you to pick ar­eas of in­ter­est and sources right out of the box, with no con­fig­u­ra­tion. But it learns as you use it, tai­lor­ing the feed as it gleans what you want to see. You can al­ways tap on any story and choose to see more or less about a cer­tain topic or from a par­tic­u­lar source.

Head­lines

The Head­lines sec­tion will show you the top sto­ries gen­er­at­ing the most cov­er­age around the world. You can then fil­ter by cat­e­gory or re­gion to see top sto­ries just from the UK, or in Sports, or Tech­nol­ogy, for ex­am­ple. The new de­sign puts an em­pha­sis on large pho­tos and video, to cre­ate a more en­gag­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that pulls you into the story.

News­casts

The up­dated News app in­tro­duces a new vis­ual for­mat called News­casts. These are cards that progress through a se­ries of sto­ries, videos, so­cial me­dia posts, and other sources. An­i­ma­tion, bold head­lines, and pull quotes give you the gist of each piece of in­for­ma­tion.

It’s a lit­tle like Twit­ter Mo­ments, but from a wide va­ri­ety of sources all over the web, not just tweets.

News­casts is all about giv­ing you a broad view of a pop­u­lar news topic, so you can quickly un­der­stand the gist of what’s go­ing on and de­cide how you want to get more in­for­ma­tion.

Full Cov­er­age

Some News­casts will have a but­ton be­low that says View Full Cov­er­age. This is Google’s at­tempt to give you a co­he­sive and broad view of any par­tic­u­lar story, and the com­pany claims it is “by far the most pow­er­ful fea­ture of the app”.

Full Cov­er­age is as­sem­bled from a va­ri­ety of sources and for­mats us­ing some­thing Google calls “tem­po­ral co-lo­cal­ity.” It maps re­la­tion­ships be­tween peo­ple, places, and things in a story in real time, or­ga­niz­ing it into story lines. It even as­sem­bles a set

of an­swers to fre­quently asked ques­tions, so you don’t have to hop out to the do a web search ask­ing the same things as ev­ery­one else. It high­lights tweets from a va­ri­ety of relevant voices, and even dis­plays fact checks so you can know what’s real.

News­stand

The News­stand sec­tion is de­signed to make it easy to fol­low the sources you like most and find new sources to broaden your view. In ad­di­tion to tra­di­tional news out­lets, it fea­tures con­tent from over 1,000 mag­a­zines. You can quickly fol­low publi­ca­tions with a sin­gle tap, and Google has made it dead sim­ple to subscribe to paid publi­ca­tions. Just find the pub­li­ca­tion you want to subscribe to and tap the Subscribe but­ton. You’re al­ready signed in with your Google Ac­count so you don’t need to cre­ate new pass­words, en­ter pay­ment in­for­ma­tion, or email ad­dresses. You’ll be able to ac­cess your paid con­tent ev­ery­where – in Google News on any plat­form but also on the pub­lisher’s own web­sites.

Google worked with over 60 pub­lish­ers to build this new one-tap subscription fea­ture, and says it is rolling out now.

The new Google News is aimed at ac­com­plish­ing three goals: make it eas­ier to fol­low news you care about, help you dive deeper and get the full story, and make it eas­ier to find, fol­low, and subscribe to trusted news sources.

News­casts bring to­gether a va­ri­ety of sto­ries, videos, and so­cial me­dia posts around a sin­gle topic

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