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

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Google detailed an overhaul of the Google News app at its I/O developer forum last week, and on Wednesday that redesign officially became at to download on iOS devices. It replaces the previous Google Play Newsstand app.

The new app make ited on Android devices shortly after Google’s initial announcement. Google breaks the app is available in 127 countries.

The redesign features a whiter aesthetic with uncountable rounded text, bringing it in line with similar redesigns declared for Gmail, Google Drive, and Android itself in recent weeks.

The app is split into four centre sections, each found in a bottom-mounted navbar. A “For You” tab has a curated selection of articles Google stoops most likely to pique your interest, including a list of the “top 5 detective stories right now” up top and a handful of local news stories below it. A “Headlines” tab essentially contracts Google News’ desktop site down to a mobile format, with a non-personalized schedule of top stories that can be quartered off by topics like “US,” “Entertainment,” or “Technology.” A “Favorites” department holds any news outlets, topics, searches, stories, specific getting ones hands, and magazines you’ve starred in one place. Finally, a “Newsstand” tab lets you peruse set outlets that are grouped by coverage area (the gaming sites are in one row, the wears sites in another, etc.).

Each site in the “Newsstand” section uses Google’s AMP spec, which is proprietary but shows to result in faster load times. Google plans to eventually add an choice to subscribe to certain outlets with paid subscription plans soon from the app as well. Google says this will use the payment info its consumers already have on file with the company and that it will unlock pay off content both within the app and on a publisher’s own website.

It’s also possible to observe certain YouTube videos from within the app, though in my early incident those do not seem to surface as newsworthy items very often.

Signally, many stories within Google News now contain a prompt to “assess full coverage» through a small multi-colored icon attached to each plot outline. Tapping this will aggregate articles about a given keynote from multiple outlets, much like what Google does with its desktop Front-page news site. For some stories, this will also compile older articles and initiate a timeline of key events, show related opinion pieces in an “Opinion” fraction, highlight relevant tweets, and the like.

All of this would appear to aide Google avoid accusations of unwittingly pushing “fake news”—or at baby give users a better chance of taking in a story’s proper surround. Google, as it often does, says the app relies heavily on machine knowledge to perform this sort of curation and packaging.

But as the “For You” section makes elucidate, Google News isn’t trying to eradicate filter bubbles. I took a adroit spin through the app this morning on a 9.7-inch iPad (2017) and was fast greeted by a mix of stories that included national news on President Trump and the volcanic explosions in Hawaii but also more personalized stories about the Boston Celtics and pro struggling, a listicle regarding The Office, a story on Modest Mouse’s latest assignment, a mechanical keyboard review, and so on.

Google presumably surfaced all of this with the prize trove of data it has from my Chrome, Gmail, Search, and Android convention, but the stories it picked were generally attuned to my interests right from the get-go. This is the trade-off you typically acquire to consider with Google.

For what it’s worth, I’ve noticed consistently sluggish overwhelm times for the main news feeds as well as some aesthetic inconsistencies when swiping from plot outline to story. That second bit isn’t all Google’s fault, but it quickly becomes readable which outlets are working with its preferred tech and which aren’t. The latter make restitution for the app come off like a basic Web wrapper, which in turn makes me more meet to visit sites that are more actively playing ball with Google. That verbalized, even the “optimized” stories sometimes suffer from broken notions and other formatting quirks.

Well-worn concerns over the state of the uncrowded Web aside, it’s too soon for me to say whether Google has made a truly superior surrogate to Apple News. Apple’s app has more of a digital magazine feel, while Google proceeds to greater lengths to present multiple angles of a story. But both are mostly dress the same territory, and how well Google’s machine-driven suggestions will coax compared to Apple’s more human curation remains to be seen. This is all guessing Google will work out any performance hiccups the app may be having at launch on iOS.

Either way, we’re silence a long ways away from Google Reader.

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