Google has over the last few months revamped its news product, Google News, and given it a fresh coat of paint complete with brand new mobile apps that replaced an app that I quite liked and another one (Google News & Weather) that took almost half a decade before being updated.
In keeping up with efforts to continue providing a rich news experiences for its users, Google has once again updated its news app. The latest update, which is currently rolling out, brings with it several new features.
All the new features are centred around one thing: saving as much data as possible.
How does it do so?
- By caching less data on-device, compressing all images and not automatically playing videos and GIFs
- By letting users download as many articles as possible when on Wi-Fi for later reading when offline or using mobile data to avoid consuming their meagre data bundles or incurring added data costs
- By going with more text-based story/article previews
- By opening videos using the YouTube Go app, where applicable
You can see where this is going, right?
Google already has a version of its current mobile operating system, Android Oreo, that is specifically targeted at the kind of users that it wants to reach out to and have using the Google News app. Those users are currently served by the Go edition of Android Oreo. As such, as can be deduced from the last point above, Google is doing all it can to make their experience using Google News as seamless as possible by addressing all the possible pain points.
Android Go users, as well as everyone else, need not do anything in order to enjoy these new features, which are rolling out over the next few weeks. “…all of these features will turn on automatically—no need to toggle on a setting or make sure you’re in the right mode,” notes the blog post announcing them.
According to Google, wherever you are, “Google News should still just work”.
Why would you need the Google News app? Well, given how Google handled the concluded FIFA World Cup through the app and all its features, trust me, you need it.