I'm a news junkie. I read as much as I can, from as many sources as possible. So it should come as no surprise that I depend on aggregation tools to serve up all the news that's fit to read in one location. To that end, I've been using Google News for a number of years. But when Google finally updated that tool, I was a bit reluctant to apply the upgrade. I liked how easy News was to use and how well it brought together many sources for many topics.
Hesitantly, I applied the update. After just a few minutes of using the latest iteration of the tool, I'm glad I did. The new News app is a significant leap forward from the old version. Let's install and kick the tires.
The installation of the new Google News app is simple:
- Open the Google Play Store app on your Android device.
- Search for Google News.
- Locate and tap the entry by Google.
- Tap Install.
- Allow the installation to complete.
Once the installation finishes, you'll find a launcher for the app on your home screen and/or your App Drawer. Tap to launch Google News.
SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)
When Google News launches, you will be greeted by a number of seemingly random headlines (Figure A). That selection of articles is most likely based on how you configured the original Google News app, so it should be fitting to your likes and needs.
If this is your first time using Google News, the first thing you'll want to do is configure the app to deliver only the news you want. To do this you must select topics and sources. To configure these, tap the Favorites icon from the bottom toolbar. In this new window (Figure B), tap the + button in the bottom-right corner.
Enter a search string for either a topic or source to be presented with options (Figure C).
If you see a source you want to follow, tap the star icon and it will be saved to the Favorites tab. If you see a topic you want to follow, tap it and then tap the star icon to add it to your Favorites. Anything that has been added to your Favorites will help populate your daily news briefing.
One cool feature in the new Google News app is Perspective And Context. For every article in your briefing, you'll find a small blue-and-red icon below the headline. If you tap that icon, News will present you with related articles (to give you perspective and context), as shown in Figure D.
This feature alone makes the upgrade to the new app worth the price of entry (which happens to be free). Perspective and context is a great tool when you need to further research a topic that pops up in your daily briefing.
Finally, if you tap the menu button associated with a headline, you can take a number of actions (Figure E).
So ... is the update to the Google News app worth your time? Without a doubt. Not only is the look and feel more in line with modern Android, the slim feature set is absolutely perfect for a newsfeed tool— Google News needs no more and needs no less. If you're looking for the ideal tool to keep you abreast of the day's news (and the topics you need to know about), look no further than Google News.
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Are you a fan of Google News? If you've tried the update, share your opinions with fellow TechRepublic members.
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.