If you're starting to make use of Google Assistant, you've probably discovered it has a great way of keeping you informed. However, you might also have noticed that Google's AI tool tends to deliver news from the same sources. Fortunately, the developers have made it possible for users to customize the news sources for Assistant. You can add from quite a large selection of news sources; unfortunately, the one thing you cannot do is add a custom news source.
Do note, these sources are specifically for playing the audio version of news. So when you open Google Assistant and say "listen to the news," Assistant will begin speaking the news. This is very different than opening Assistant and asking, "What's in the news?" (which will display news cards pulled from Google News). What this means is that the only news sources available are ones that have a "spoken version" available.
You also might be surprised that, out of the box, very few sources have been added for Assistant to pull news from (Figure A).
Let's fix this shortcoming by adding a few extra sources, so you can stay better informed.
Adding news sources
The process of adding news sources isn't exactly intuitive, but once you know the location where sources are added, it's simple. The challenge (for some) will be actually locating the Google Assistant settings options. Here's how:
- Long press your device home button
- Wait for Assistant to open
- Tap the blue circle in the upper right corner of the Assistant card (Figure B)
- In the resulting window, tap the menu button (three vertical dots in the upper right corner)
- Tap Settings
Once you're in the Settings window, locate and tap News to reveal the current list of sources. Tap the + button associated with Add news sources to reveal the complete listing. Go through this list (Figure C) and add as many sources as you need.
You can also select the location drop-down (at the top of the window) to select between:
- English (Canada)
- English (United States)
- English (United Kingdom)
- Francais (Canada)
Depending upon your location, the above list may vary.
That's it. Tap the Back button and your news sources will have been added.
Changing the order
You might also want to change the order of your news sources. Whatever source you have listed at the top will be the first source Assistant pulls from. To change these sources, tap the CHANGE ORDER button and then, using the drag bar (two horizontal lines - Figure D), rearrange the order of your sources.
Enjoy your expanded news from Google Assistant
At this point, you can enjoy a bigger variety of news, as found by Google Assistant. Open up Assistant and say "listen to news," and Google News will begin playing the news from your customized source list.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.