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May 4, 2018

News junkies, Google News looks set for a major overhaul

by John_A

Google News is in the news. Reports suggest that the service is about to receive a major makeover that could be announced as early as next week.

Changes look set to involve a fresh design for the web interface that will also incorporate elements of Google’s digital magazine Newsstand app, which itself could be replaced, AdAge reported on Thursday, May 3.

The revamped tool is also expected to include the news section of YouTube as Google works to add depth to its content while making better use of video already available on its network of offerings.

An unnamed source with knowledge of the changes told AdAge that the Newsstand app, currently available for Android and iOS, is likely to be replaced with an all-new Google News app. Newsstand pulls together news sources from around the world and lets you set up a daily briefing that delivers the most important stories of the day. You can also save stories or download particular publications to read later. Its recommendation system is designed to improve over time, serving up content according to a user’s interests. It remains to be seen precisely which, if any, of these features Google is transferring to its redesigned news offering.

The source said that the upcoming changes are essentially “a consolidation of all the ways you can interact with news on Google,” adding that the aim is to bring all of Google’s news services under one brand.

The company will also incorporate its Accelerated Mobile Apps technology that helps web content to load more quickly on smartphones, the report said.

To summarize, the update will apply to Google News for web, with a reworked news app also offered for mobile users.

Rival tech giant Apple, which dug deep into news delivery with the launch of its News app in 2015, could be on the verge of making major changes to its own service. A Bloomberg report last month claimed the company is working on a premium subscription-based offering that will give news junkies access to a slew of digital magazines and news sources.

The all-new Google News service, meanwhile, could be unveiled next week during Google I/O, the company’s annual developer bash where new products are showcased. Check back for more information from May 8, when the conference begins.

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