Google is Trying to Make the Best App Ever for News Junkies

Posted July 20, 2017

The company outlined a major update to the app, which rolled out Wednesday in the US and internationally over the next couple weeks. Today, Google Now is officially being relaunched as the Google feed. "You'll notice that your feed will also reflect your interest level for various topics - for example, if you're a photography enthusiast but just casually interested in fitness, your feed will show that". Taking things a step further, Google has tweaked its feed, which it introduced last December to its Google app, to not only display information based on your interactions with Google, but also factor in what's trending in your specific area and around the world.

What's new with Feed is that it has now gained an ability to follow particular topics from searches. The unauthorized app scamming is commonly seen among Facebook users, but some Google users who get fooled by bad apps are not too small. Here one can "Follow" a topic in order to help Google customize your content. Google's personalized take on the news feed will make it easier for users to find stories of interest. It's also an acknowledgment that Facebook's News Feed is one of the most addictive ways to consume digital information on smartphones. A follow button will appear next to certain types of results - including movies, sports teams, music artists or bands, famous people, and more.

Once you go through the intro, seen in the GIF above-right, you will be asked to activate the app, then allow Google to access your location.

This isn't Google's first crack at offering a news feed. By tapping the button, the user is able to follow all updates and stories about their favourited topic. Rather than create a copycat feed that depended on them and fell short in their absence, Google purposefully built a ghost town that treats their omission as a feature, not a bug.

The feed's primary focus is on content, including news articles and videos that line up with topics you care about.

Typical updates might include a link to a website with tips about an upcoming vacation spot, or a link to a page about cycling or another hobby, the company said.

What's happening to the information previously found in Google Now?

For starters, Google Feed will be available on the main mobile search app, but eventually, it will be made available through browsers and the page, according to Ben Gomes, Google's vice president of engineering.