Google earlier this week announced a major overhaul of the its magazine and news reader, Play Newsstand. The new version of the iPhone and iPad app sports a new app icon and provides a refreshed user interface alongside a few new “smart” features.
These include a personalized news briefing, a “For You” stream of personalized stories, support for rich media in articles, tab-based navigation and other perks.
As evidenced by the screenshots of the app’s reworked interface, you can quickly dive into any of the main four sections by hitting tabs alongside the bottom of the screen: For You, Library, Explore and Read Later.
Articles look great with crisp full-bleed images and load quickly because Newsstand is now built on Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) foundation:
We have improved our support for multimedia content building on the AMP support we launched earlier this year. Scroll through your feed, and you will see autoplay videos, easy podcast controls, and high-resolution, full-bleed images. Every story and topic in Newsstand now comes to life in a more engaging, beautiful presentation.
The For You section brings recommended articles from a variety of national and local news sources in one place. What you see here is based on your personal interests and articles you’ve already read.
For You is divided into the Briefing and Highlights sections. Briefing is all about relevant stories to you, based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Each recommendation includes a justification and an option for providing feedback.
“We are applying the power of Google machine learning to Newsstand’s rich catalog in order to find and recommend the most timely, relevant stories for you based on your individual interests,” said Google.
Highlights provides a stream of stories based on your cherry-picked sources and topics. You can easily control which news sources, stories and topics appear in your feed by tapping the three dot menu button below any article.
The app also includes a Data Saver which lets you enjoy it in a way that is aware of data and bandwidth preferences. Lastly, Play Newsstand is now available within a browser as a web app at newsstand.google.com (Chrome browser is support, but Safari is not).
If for whatever reason you dislike Apple News, you’re wholeheartedly recommended to give Google’s overhauled Play Newsstand experience a try and see if it works for you.