Tuesday , August 21 2018


As a follow-on from Google’s Digital Wellbeing initiatives at the Google IO 2018 keynote today the new changes Google has in store for Google News were outlined.

At the core of the new Google News is their commitment to improve news — no more fake news. Google have committed $300 million over the next three years to improve the news we see. They plan to work with journalists and publishers to create products and programs that will help the industry. All of this will be incorporated into the new Google News.

Google News began life as a 20% product of a Googler after 9-11. The new Google News is totally redesigned to use AI to bring to the forefront the best of what journalism has to offer to give users a deeper insight and a a deeper understanding and perspective of any and all topics they are interested in. This will all be from quality sources that users can trust.

Google set out with the new Google News to help users do three things:

  • Keep up with the news you care about
  • Understand the full story
  • Enjoy and support the sources you love

Google News is making it easier for the user to keep up with the news they care about by at first giving you a briefing of the top five stories that you need to know right now followed by stories selected just for you, based on your previous internet actions. Google News uses AI to assemble the key articles and news you need to know as well as bringing in local news. As with most of Google’s products there is reinforcement learning within the app so it learns what you like and don’t like and it’s suggestions become better and more accurate the more you use the app.

Google have also made the News app a lot more multi-media friendly with large imagery and some great video and podcast experiences. It will bring you all the best video news from YouTube and around the Web and is designed to “let the stories speak for themselves”. This is all enhanced by the new Google Material Theme “uniquely tailored by Google”.

As part of Google News Google are introducing a new digital format they call Newscasts. Newscasts are a “preview of the story” and help you to get a feel for what is going on. Using the latest developments in natural language understanding they bring together relative news to give you a quick overview and help you to decide whether you want to dive in more deeply.

The second goal for Google news is to help users see and understand the full story of the news/topic. It will give a Full Coverage from a variety of sources and in a variety of formats to build a complete picture and timeline of what’s happening in an event. It pulls out FAQs and finds answers for you to provide a “real-time understanding”. Sources will include Twitter and trusted news sources and will all be fact-checked. This coverage is assembled using what Google call Temporal Co-locality.

Within the new Google News Google are making changes to the Newstand section. They are making it easy to find and follow sources and publishers that you love and at the same time helping you to discover new ones including over 1000 titles. Using “Subscribe with Google” it is now simple to sign into all these sites to deliver “high quality news where it matters most”.

The new Google News will be rolling out in 127 countries on Android, iOS and the web starting today — everyone will have it by next week. Head to the Play Store and grab the app now so that you will have the updated new app as soon as it is available.

Ausdroid Staff  

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Philip Clark
Ausdroid Reader

And I thought Newsstand was the Google app probably most due for a refresh. Be careful what you wish for. They’ve removed the ability to download magazine issues and subscriptions, so I can only read magazines I’ve bought when online. Google are mind-blowingly stupid about where they take their apps sometimes.

Darren
Ausdroid Reader
Darren

Is this the news thing in the feed where Google Now used to be? I liked being able to turn off certain publications and things I am not interested in, but then I kept being distracted by it all the time because it picked out stuff I liked really well so I turned it off. I can’t find any way to just have my Google Now stuff back, it’s always a tap away from the blank news screen.

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred

Is there the option to exclude from results any news source that thinks it’s going to get money from me?

The biggest problem isn’t multimedia, its news sources that try the bait and switch – as if that’s going to endear them to anyone.

Chris Rowland
Ausdroid Director

Might as well exclude the lot then. Making news isn’t free.

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred

Reality is, people are not going to pay directly for journalist opinions – so it should be made simple to exclude those sources who haven’t realised that yet (eg Murdoch).

There are plenty of sources that don’t attempt to force subscriptions.

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

Needs to be a Netflix for News. The majority of people are never going to pay subscriptions to multiple news organisations however they may subscribe to one DECENT news aggregator. Also need to make it easier and more accurate to exclude the nobodies (Kardboardians, Markle, cricketers, etc.) that most intelligent people have no interest in. Currently with Google News Feed it is hit or miss when you want to exclude these people. Also, there is too much quality free news out there for anyone to ever pay News Corpse for its LNP biased crapaganda.

Chris Rowland
Ausdroid Director

There’s plenty of reasons why this kind of thing doesn’t work. Look at Spotify’s model for example; ultimately, content makers do very poorly out of that, and for something that’s generally lower value per item, a “Netflix for Publishers” would absolutely destroy us.

I appreciate the want for something like this from a consumer perspective, but from a publisher perspective it’s a nightmare.

Joshua Hill
Ausdroid Reader

I can’t find a Google News app? There’s a Google Play Newsstand. Is this the same thing?

Chris Rowland
Ausdroid Director

Same thing, as far as we’re aware.

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

If that’s the case Chris, then I wonder what will happen to all the fake news and junk magazines that you subscribe to or buy from Google Newsstand, because Newsstand is basically just a newsagency app by Google, and not an actual news app.

Chris Rowland
Ausdroid Director

Turns out it is a different app; it should be on the Play Store soon.

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

Thanks Chris

SteveT
Valued Guest
SteveT

A Google blog post says the new Google News app will replace both the Newsstand and the News and Weather app.

So it’s basically getting the typical Google treatment of recognising they have messed it up with multiple apps for one function then finally rolling them into one which is what they should have started with in the first place. Just like Android Pay and Google Wallet.

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

With luck, I hope they realize the same need for re-merging needs doing to these 4 apps, Google Maps, Google Maps Navigation, Google Maps StreetView, and Google Maps My Maps.
The functions of these 4 apps used to all be in the Google Maps app.

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