Technology

The revamped Google News app is now available on iPhones and iPads

You see a personalized collection of five articles when you open the new Google News app for the first time. Note the icon of the little newspaper under these stories; This will allow you to access the "View Full Coverage" option of the application.


Jeff Dunn

By going to the "Articles" tab, you will discover a more objective selection of the best articles.


Jeff Dunn

If you click on the "Show Full Coverage" button through a story, you will see a more complete breakdown of this event as a whole, with articles from a wider range of outlets.


Jeff Dunn

There could be a timeline of relevant stories that have led to news of today or a handful of notable opinion pieces.


Jeff Dunn

Or some tweets. Here's one on the viral thing Laurel / Yanny, because life is fundamentally unfair.


Jeff Dunn

This is not a perfectly fair complaint, but the stories of some outlets use the clean and tidy AMP format shown above.


Jeff Dunn

These pages tend to load faster, at least in my first experiences.


Jeff Dunn

However, not everything looks like that. This could harass you, or you might appreciate the fact that sites like the BBC manage to retain their identity even within a third-party platform.


Jeff Dunn

Google detailed the redesign of the Google News application at its I / O developers conference last week, and Wednesday that the redesign officially became available for download on iOS devices . It replaces the old Google Play Newsstand app.

The new application arrived on Android devices shortly after the initial Google announcement. Google claims that the app is available in 127 countries.

The redesign presents a whiter aesthetic with a more rounded text, aligning it with similar remakes published for Gmail Google Drive, and Android itself the latter weeks.

The application is divided into four main sections, each found in a navigation bar mounted at the bottom. A "For You" tab offers a selection of articles that Google is most likely to spark, including a list of "Top 5 Stories Right Now" and some local news below. A "Titles" tab essentially reduces the Google News desktop site to a mobile format, with a non-personalized list of the most important articles that can be separated by topics such as "US", "Entertainment" "or" Technology ". A "Favorites" section contains all press points, topics, searches, stories, specific places and magazines that you have featured in one place. Finally, a tab "Kiosk" allows you to browse specific outlets grouped by coverage area (the game sites are in one line, sports sites in another, etc.).

Each site in the "Kiosk" section uses the Google AMP specification which is proprietary but tends to speed up loading. Google plans to possibly add a subscription option to some outlets with paid subscription plans directly from the application. Google claims that this will use the payment information that its users already have on the file with the company and that it will unlock paid content both in the app and on the website itself. an editor.

It is also possible to view some YouTube videos from the app, even though, at first, they do not seem to appear very often as articles of interest.

Notably, many stories in Google News now contain a prompt to "show full coverage" through a small multicolored icon attached to each story. For some articles, this will also compile older articles and create a timeline of key events, post related opinion articles in an "Opinion" section, highlight relevant tweets, and more.

All this seems to help Google avoid accusations of inadvertently pushing "false news" – or at least giving users a better chance of taking into account the proper context of a story. Google, as is often the case, claims that the application relies heavily on machine learning to perform this type of preservation and packaging.

That said, as the "For you" section shows, Google News does not try to eradicate filter bubbles. I did a quick tour of the app this morning on a 9.7 inch iPad (2017) and I was quickly greeted by a mix of national stories about President Trump and volcanic eruptions in Hawaii but also more personal stories about the Boston Celtics and the pro fight, a listicle about The Office, a story about the latest Modest Mouse tour, a mechanical keyboard review, and more.

Google has probably surfaced all this with the treasure of data that it has from my Chrome, Gmail, Search, and Android usage, but it was usually at the top of the list. listen to my interests from the start. This is the compromise that you normally have to consider with Google.

For what it's worth, I've noticed slow and slow loading times for major news feeds as well as aesthetic inconsistencies when going from one story to the next. This second point is not entirely Google's fault, but it quickly becomes clear which outlets are working with its favorite technology and which are not. These make the application run like a basic web envelope and tend to suffer more formatting quirks, which makes me more likely to visit sites that play more actively with Google.

Concerns about the state of the open web are good, it's too early to tell if Google has made a really superior alternative to Apple News. The Apple app has more air of a digital magazine, while Google goes further to present multiple angles of a story. But both cover most of the time the same territory, and how the suggestions based on Google's machine will work compared to the more human touch of Apple remains to be seen. All this assumes that Google will solve the performance issues that the application could have at launch on iOS.

Anyway, we are still far from Google Reader .

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