Mobility

How to manage the updated feed option in the Google app

Google recently updated an Android feature called the feed. Here's how to enable and configure it in the Google app.

Image: Jack Wallen

If you've been paying attention, you might have noticed that Google added what they call the feed to your search tool last December, and recently updated it. This feed includes news stories, sports scores, and videos, all of which are based on your previous Google searches. This new feature does an outstanding job of presenting to you information of interest (so long as you are actually using Google search).

But how do you manage this new feed? Thankfully, the developers saw to it to give users everything they need to manage their feed. Let's me show you how.

SEE: Google's updated feed taps machine learning to show new topics before you search for them (TechRepublic)

Turning on the feed

Before you start working with the feed, you should make sure it is enabled. By default, the underlying system should be on. On the off-chance yours isn't, here's how to enable it:

  1. Open up the Google app
  2. Swipe right from the left edge
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Accounts & privacy | Google activity controls | Web & App Activity
  5. If disabled, tap the slider to enable (Figure A)

Figure A

Feed A

Enabling the Web & App Activity feature.

Now you're ready to work with the feed.

How to get to the feed

This will depend upon the device and the home screen launcher you use. On the OnePlus 3 using the Google Now Launcher, you simply swipe right from the left edge of the screen, to reveal the Google Search app. If that doesn't work for you, you can always open up the App Drawer, locate the Google app, and tap to launch.

How to configure the feed

Once you have the Google app open, swipe right from the left edge of the screen and then tap Settings (Figure B).

Figure B

Feed B

Getting to the Google app Settings window.

In the resulting window, locate and tap Your feed. This new screen is where you take care of all of the options provided for the feed (Figure C).

Figure C

Feed C

The Feed options window.

The first thing you should do is make sure the feed is enabled. If not, tap the slider to enable the feature. Once feed is enabled, scroll down and enable all of the notification options of interest to you (such as Weather, commute time, sports, topics of interest, etc. - Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

Enabling notifications for the Feed.

By default, all options are enabled. Chances are there will be an option or two that won't interest you. I recommend disabling those, so that your feed is streamlined. Chances are, if there's a topic that doesn't interest you, you won't be searching for it anyway—so it probably won't appear anyway. Even so, it's best to minimize what feed is looking for in your searches.

You can also enable/disable notifications; however, I've yet to actually see an alert (in my Notification Shade) or hear a notification from the feed, nor does the Ringtone ever seem to chime.

Give it time to grow

The feed is relatively new, so there are bound to be growing pains as Google continues to tweak the feature. Of course, this is Google, so there's no guarantee that the feed will last. For the meantime, however, it's a pretty cool feature that learns what to feed you as you search.

Happy feeding!

Also see

About Jack Wallen

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.

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