In a blog post today, Google has announced the total redesign and refresh of Play Newsstand, a news aggregator that’s kinda been sitting around for a while. With these updates, it looks like Google hopes to compete with other news apps such as Apple News and Flipboard and hopefully provide users with a comprehensive app they’ll open every day. The first feature we’ll mention here hints at this goal the most.
New in Play Newsstand is a daily briefing. You can have the app, at a certain time, notify you with a daily briefing of the latest news and weather. It’s also the first thing you’ll see every time you open the app. This will make staying up with the latest news much snappier and more convenient than, say, scrolling through Twitter or Facebook.
Next, personalization is the name of the game for the new Play Newsstand. Using Google’s artificial intelligence technology that’s also now featured in Play Music, the company hopes their news aggregation service will provide users with a glance of news they’ll actually care about based on their preferences, likes, and dislikes. I’ve been using this feature for a couple of days now, and I have to say it actually does a pretty good job. Kudos, Google.
Finally, the aesthetics of Play Newsstand are much better than before. Gone are the small, boring images and text, while bolder images, text, links, and animations take their place. Overall, the app feels a lot smoother and more enjoyable to use. In fact, Google thought it was so enjoyable that they brought a custom interact to the web. When logged into your Google account, you can see all the news and information on your phone or tablet right on your laptop or PC by going to newsstand.google.com. I’ve only gotten a chance to check this feature out once, but so far, I enjoy this as well.
Overall, I think it’s about time we saw a major change regarding Play Newsstand. It’s been a while since Google did anything with it, so it’s nice to see it coming up to speed with other news aggregators on the market today.