If you don’t have time to sit down and watch or read the news but you still want to be updated with what’s happening around the world and what’s interesting to you, you now have an option provided you have a Google Assistant-powered device. Google is introducing a new feature called Your News Update which gives you a personalized playlist of audio news based on your preferences and also what the Google editors and algorithm deem as important news you need to know.
Obviously, you can get something like audio news from your radio but it only comes from just one news source (unless you jump from one channel to another). What’s great with the Your News Update is that you get your own news radio show and it comes from various partner publishers including CBS, USA Today, ABC News, Fox News, Washington Post, Mashable, Reuters, CNN, AP, NBA, Wired, etc. You have a good mix of national and local news as well as special interest publications for sports, music, etc.
All you have to do is say “Hey Google, play me the news” on any of your Google Assistant-enabled smartphones and smart speakers and you’ll get the rundown on all the important news and the news that’s relevant to the interests you’ve told Google. The short news stories are also picked based on your location and your user history if you’ve chosen to grant Google access to those things. But Your News Update will start with general interest clips which are usually the biggest news of the day.
According to Audio News Product Manager Liz Gannes, Google has been developing “an open specification for single topic audio stories” so that they can work with audio clips that can still give you important information but without having to be an hour long. She also said that there’s a big focus on local news for both the places you live and the places you’re interested in. The more you use this of course, the better their recommendations will be.
Your News Update is now available in English in the United States only. You can switch it on in your Assistant settings under the You tab and then the News section. Just switch on the News playlist format and you’re all set. It will expand to other countries by next year.