7 ways to mas­ter the new Google News and use it more like Google Reader

Take con­trol of your feed.

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It’s been nearly five years since Google shut down its Reader ser­vice ( go. pc­world.com/alrd), and we still haven’t got­ten over it. We’ve tried our share of re­place­ments—feedly, Inore­ader, New­blur, etc.—but be­tween sub­scrip­tion fees, cross­plat­form com­pat­i­bil­ity, and in­ter­face odd­i­ties, we’ve yet to find any­thing that com­pletely fills the void Reader left in our feeds.

But Google hasn’t given up on or­ga­nized, per­son­al­ized news feeds. Quite the con­trary: Af­ter tak­ing sev­eral swings with ser­vices such as Google+, Google Now, and News and Weather, Google un­veiled at its I/O devel­oper conference in May a brand-new Google News app ( go.pc­world.com/nwap),

with a uni­form ex­pe­ri­ence across An­droid, IOS, and the web, a new phi­los­o­phy, and a com­pletely re­designed in­ter­face.

The new Google News isn’t quite a res­ur­rec­tion of Reader. But with a sim­pli­fied in­ter­face and a nice com­bi­na­tion of per­son­al­iza­tion and AI, it com­prises a lot of what we loved about Google’s orig­i­nal RSS ser­vice. Once you mas­ter it, it just might help you get over the loss of Reader:

1. GET TO KNOW THE IN­TER­FACE

The new Google News app is de­cep­tively ro­bust. Open the app and you’ll be pre­sented with four tabs: For You, Head­lines, Fa­vorites, and News­stand. For You is es­sen­tially an Ai-pow­ered col­lec­tion of sto­ries based on the data Google has col­lected (such as search trends and lo­ca­tion). Head­lines is a col­lec­tion of the big­gest sto­ries of the day di­vided into topics (U.S., World, Tech­nol­ogy, Sports, etc.), and are the same for all users and plat­forms. Fa­vorites is the clos­est to Google Reader, col­lect­ing the sources, topics, and ar­ti­cles you’ve saved. And fi­nally, News­stand is where you can find any mag­a­zines you’ve sub­scribed to.

Be­yond the tabs, when you tap your user icon in the top right cor­ner of the app, you can see your no­ti­fi­ca­tion history and shar­ing ac­tiv­ity, and also find set­tings. Lots of cool menus and ac­tions in Google News make it more than just a sim­ple news ag­gre­ga­tor. For ex­am­ple, you can tap the col­ored News icon be­low a story to see the full coverage page, or tap the weather icon to get a seven-day fore­cast.

2. USE THE SEARCH BAR

Like Google Reader ( go.pc­world.com/glrd), Google News works best when you tell it what you like. To do that, you’ll need to get

friendly with the search bar. You can find it in the top cor­ner of every screen (or at the top of the web­page). Tap it with­out typ­ing and you’ll see a list of sug­gested topics and sources. You can se­lect any of them to fol­low.

If you’re look­ing for a spe­cific source (like Pc­world, for in­stance), you can type that query into the search field and tap the Fol­low but­ton that ap­pears next to it. Re­peat as nec­es­sary. Any source you fol­low will then ap­pear as a pub­li­ca­tion on your Fa­vorites page, which will dis­play a chrono­log­i­cal feed of every­thing that site has pub­lished. There’s no limit on the num­ber of sources you can fol­low, so go crazy.

If you want to search a topic, such as Google or iphone, rather than a source, you can opt to save those for fu­ture ref­er­ence as well. Just like with sources, you can fol­low as many topics as you’d like, and Google News will ag­gre­gate all the news about it that it can find. Topics will ap­pear on your Fa­vorites page just like sources. You can also search for spe­cific ar­ti­cle URLS. Be­cause saved topics and sources are synced across all of your de­vices and the web, you’ll be able to keep track of sto­ries from your phone, ipad, or PC.

3. SAVE AND SHARE

Next to each story you’ll see an over­flow menu at the far right (or a hover menu on the web) that con­tains links for shar­ing and sav­ing. Tap Share to send it to an app or a

Be­yond the tabs, when you tap your user icon in the top right cor­ner of the app, you can see your no­ti­fi­ca­tion history and shar­ing ac­tiv­ity, and also find set­tings.

con­tact, or copy the link in­side the app. On the web you can copy the link or send it to Google+, Face­book, or Twit­ter. If you just want to save it for your own use, you can tap the book­mark icon and it’ll be added to your ar­ti­cle list on your Fa­vorites page. Be­cause Google News is al­ways chrono­log­i­cal and there’s no “read” or “un­read” mark­ings, it can be hard to keep track of every story you want to read. Sav­ing for later is a great way to make sure you re­mem­ber them.

4. TEACH IT WHAT YOU LIKE TO READ

Google Reader was great for or­ga­niz­ing, but it wasn’t so good at dis­cov­er­ing new sources of in­for­ma­tion. Google News does both. Think of the For You sec­tion like a

Pan­dora sta­tion for news: It’ll show you ar­ti­cles re­lated to things you like, and the more you use it the more per­sonal it’ll get. But you can also give it a

lit­tle help. In­side the over­flow menu be­low every story you’ll see op­tions for More Sto­ries Like This and Fewer Sto­ries Like This, as well as Hide Sto­ries From [Source] (mean­ing from a par­tic­u­lar news source). The more you use th­ese but­tons, the more Google News will fil­ter out the con­tent you don’t want.

Here’s a tip: If you ever want to see one of the sources you’ve hid­den, you can find them all un­der the Hid­den In For You tab in Set­tings.

5. PER­SON­AL­IZE THE LOOK

While you won’t be able to match Google Reader’s iconic in­box-style list of sto­ries, Google of­fers a fair amount of cus­tomiza­tion over what you see and how you see it. In­side Set­tings, you’ll see a Turn On Mini Cards tog­gle. Flip it and you’ll see a cou­ple of ad­di­tional sto­ries on the main page about each topic rather than just one, sav­ing you a trip into the Full coverage screen. If your Fa­vorites page gets un­wieldy, you can al­ways move a topic to the end or the be­gin­ning of the list, or stop fol­low­ing it al­to­gether. You can also turn off au­to­play videos in set­tings, and choose to add any of your saved sources or topics to the home screen for easy ac­cess.

6. CUS­TOM­IZE YOUR NO­TI­FI­CA­TIONS

Be­cause you don’t al­ways have time to check Google News dili­gently through­out the day, it can send you up­dates on break­ing news, pop­u­lar topics, and your in­ter­ests. But it’s not an all-or-noth­ing op­tion. In­side the app’s set­tings you can cus­tom­ize your alerts so you’re not pep­pered with sto­ries all day long.

If you only want sto­ries about the sources and topics you fol­low, turn off all tog­gles ex­cept the Your In­ter­ests one. You can also ad­just the fre­quency of no­ti­fi­ca­tions from low to stan­dard to high, with a cou­ple of steps in be­tween. Gen­er­ally, the stan­dard set­ting will

send five to seven per day, while high could be as many as a dozen. When I slid the bar down to low, I got only a cou­ple each day. You can also turn on daily brief­ing alerts and break­ing news. If you miss any, check your no­ti­fi­ca­tion history in Ac­tiv­ity by tap­ping your user icon.

7. SAVE STO­RIES FOR OFF­LINE READ­ING

Google News re­lies on an In­ter­net con­nec­tion to keep every­thing cur­rent. If you’re go­ing to be on a plane or with­out ac­cess to a strong con­nec­tion, you can down­load any of your fa­vorite topics or sources for off­line read­ing. Head over to the Fa­vorites tab, tap on the over­flow menu in the top right of any of the icons, and choose Down­load. A tiny down­load ar­row will ap­pear, and when it’s done down­load­ing (af­ter a cou­ple sec­onds) an ar­row will show that Google News has saved all of the sto­ries in­side for off­line read­ing.

1.Google News looks a lot dif­fer­ent with the lat­est up­date, but it shouldn’t be too hard to get ac­cli­mated.

2. The search field is the key to un­lock­ing Google News’s full po­ten­tial.

3.The share sheet and save tab in Google News will help you spread and or­ga­nize the sto­ries you love.

4. You can rank sources in Google News or hide them al­to­gether.

5.You can’t cus­tom­ize too much of the in­ter­face, but there are ways to make Google News your own.

7. You can down­load a whole topic’s worth of sto­ries for off­line read­ing.

6. Google News no­ti­fi­ca­tions don’t have to be a bother.

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