Looking for a reliable news app with great customization?
The new and improved Google News app may fit the bill. Available for both iOS and Android, it's a definite improvement on its predecessor.
What's new with Google News?
The old app showed everybody the same news– it drew from the recent headlines and pulled them into the app.
The new version of the Google News app uses artificial intelligence to collate the news you'll likely be interested in and create a more personalized experience.
Let's take a look at the different features.
1. Your briefing– Today's 5 most important stories
Your briefing is a collection of the top five stories Google thinks you'll be interested in, based on your own personal preferences, past search inquiries, and trending topics.
It's designed to make it as easy as possible to catch up on what's important. And if you keep scrolling, you'll see other stories you might be interested in.
You can personalize the stories you see by clicking on the three dots underneath a particular news story.
This will open up all sorts of options to you. You can choose to:
- Save the story for later
- Share the story
- Head over to the source of the story
- Hide all stories from the source
- Tell Google you like this story and want to see more like it
- Tell Google you don't like this story and want to see less like it in the future
Want to learn more about a specific story?
Tap the full coverage icon to access stories related to the topic you are reading about.
You get access to related stories, the Twitter feed surrounding the story, as well as a development timeline, related videos, and access to all coverage.
2. See today's headlines
The headlines section gives you the headlines of what's going on today. It scrapes the top headlines and delivers them to you.
This section is similar to the old Google News app and gives you a much more general idea of what's going on with the world.
3. Look through your favorites
Your favorites area is a hyper-customizable location.
- Add your favorite topics. Click on the plus sign next to “Topics”, search for a topic you are interested in in the search bar, and then star it. The topic you picked will now show up in your “Topics.” You can unfollow it anytime by clicking on the three dots next to it.
- Add specific sources you trust
- Get stories based on your specific location
- Access saved searches and favorite stories
Google News, like all the other Google apps, tracks you through your Google account, not the device you are on.
So if you access Google News on your desktop, interact with a story in your browser, and save it to your favorites, it will show up in your favorites section on your phone or tablet.
4. The Newsstand
With the Newsstand, you can manage your subscriptions to mainstream media like The New York Times or The Economist.
You can add subscriptions with paywalls to your Google news and consolidate them within the app. This makes accessing your subscription services much easier.
The trouble with too much personalization
While a personalized feed can be an effective way to save time and narrow down the stories you see to what's relevant to you, it does create some potential problems.
Personalization is a two-edged sword. By turning off sources you disagree with, you get news that just appeals to your palette and preferences. By selecting too much, you are essentially creating your own news bubble. It may be a better experience, but it limits the kind of information you get.
You can battle this divide is by using the “full coverage” icon to access different stories around a topic of interest.
The new Google News app may be able to provide enough balance to the newsfeed, depending on how to use it.
It can certainly be a good replacement for native apps like the internal Apple news.
What do you think? Do you have a go to news app? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,
Have fun storming the castle!
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