Google News a real-time, “360 degree view” of news stories and topics.
Announced as part of the Google I/O conference last week, the company made its plan known of the removal of the Google play newsstand app and replace it with Google News app. Google News app utilises real-time artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to analyse and organise breaking news. The new version of its News app is now available for iOS and Android devices in 127 countries.
The app opens with a “For You” section that offers a brief overview and like other curation-based apps, it brings you a brief look at five stories based on your past reading interests; this is a combination of top headlines, local stories, and topics that Google has detected an interest in on your part. Using machine learning capabilities, the app helps analyse the headlines and puts stories about the same subject matter together into “newscasts.” This helps you quickly get up to date about a particular story. Google News applies its synthetic smarts to learn user preferences over time. Users can tweak those guidelines by telling the app to show more or less content on a given topic.
After the “For you” section the next section is called — ‘Headlines’ — dives more deeply into the latest news, covering global, U.S., business, technology, entertainment, sports, science and health segments. Clicking a story pulls up ‘Full Coverage’ mode, which surfaces a range of content around a topic including editorial and opinion pieces, tweets, videos and a timeline of events.
Many news apps and services advertise some form of machine learning feature that will customise news suggestions as you go along. Google’s offer is, of course, different in one important way: it already knows a whole lot about you. The moment you start the app for the first time, Google News uses that treasure chest of your data to fine-tune its news suggestions and headlines to your interests. Of course, you can tweak those as you use the app by saying which ones you like or don’t and hiding items for certain sources.
Local news is one of the standout features of Google News, which was previously introduced on the web with a News redesign last year. It gives the new version is a new look and feel as users can now read news of what’s happening around them , close to them or even right within their area.
Every story in Google News comes with an icon to expand into “full coverage” of that issue. The Full coverage offers a wide range of sources and perspectives on that topic. Google says “this is a real-time, “360 degree view” of news stories and topics. And unlike other News app, in this everyone sees the same content in full coverage. The company calls it “the most powerful feature of the app.”
The new version of the Newsstand comes with an option in the horizontal navigation at the bottom that opens to a branded publisher “magazine rack” that readers can browse for content to add to their feeds and follow. If publications requires a subscription to access their content, then a ‘pop-up’ will show to enable users to sign in or subscribe within the app, via a Google payment account.
Google News seeks to capture and retain usage, but it’s also a tool for exposing readers to content they might otherwise not have seen. Google also says that the new app was a collaboration between the company and more than 60 publishers.
Google News is a free 125.1 MB download from the App Store or a 8.68 MB on play store.