At Google I/O 2018, one of the apps/services that Google mentioned as getting some significant attention is their Google News platform. The improvements mainly come in two different areas – increased use of AI to scour the web for content that may interest a user and a heavy revision to the interface to be consistent with Google’s second generation of Material Design concepts. The updates initially rolled out as part of the Google News app for Android and iOS devices. With that step completed, Google is now updating user accounts when accessing News from their desktop with a browser.
When a user goes to the News platform via news.google.com, if their account has received the update they will immediately notice the refreshed design of the page. It is much more consistent now with other Google platforms getting the Material Design 2 update with more white space being used and rounded off buttons and other visual cues. The new layout may also take some time for users to re-learn as some pieces have moved around. In particular, saved searches can now be accessed via “Favorites” or “Saved searches” from the side menu.
In addition to the revisions to the interface, users will also find access to any magazine subscription they may have purchased. As far as the other content like top headlines or news that is supposedly curated specifically for you via the AI technology, we will have to wait to see how well the new platform performs. I will note that I am not seeing the same news items between the desktop interface and the mobile interface, so Google may need to do some work on getting those in sync a little better. My initial impression is that the web interface is not following the guidance I have provided on mobile for what I am interested in and especially what I am not interested in.
With this update, will Google News become a more useful tool for you to stay up-to-date and informed?