Google Now has been offering Google app users relevant and curated information for a while, but now it’s just one part of an even greater product. The latest update has introduced a new home screen where you’ll be treated to a personalized news feed that has all the stories and articles that you’re most likely to be interested in. I know you’re probably asking yourself right now, “Do I seriously need to add another social network to my daily obsession?” The answer is yes.
Right off the bat, one of my favorite details of the app is how friendly the UI is. I’m not clicking around aimlessly trying to figure out how to set this thing up. Clap emoji, Google. At the top you’ll see a list of “cards” with tidbits of different articles that, according to your search history, may interest you.
Because Google already knows me so well, my feed was flooded with Game of Thrones content, Star Wars, and the release of Lana Del Rey’s new album Lust for Life. If you come across a story you don’t want to see or are done reading, simply swipe that card to the left to indicate that it’s not your thing. Boy, bye.
One standout feature was the lack of ability to “like” any of the content in your feed—which is an honest relief in an era where we feel socially obligated to double-tap that Instagram pic out of loyalty to your friends. Better yet, there is not a “friending” system at all so you’re free to solely engage with the content you’re interested in. And if in-the-moment news is your jam, you can enable notifications about the interests you’re following to get real time updates about anything from world politics to latest spoilers and theories about the Iron Throne.
Like any app (especially those that personalize content), there are a few flaws that have already been discovered by The Verge and TechCrunch. As of right now, you cannot follow any specific publishers, but Google claims that the ability will be added later on. And even with the extensive amount of personal search history that Google can use, they lack the depth and time compared to what Facebook knows about you from its years of stalker-like data mining.
At the end of the day, will the social mass make room for yet another feed to scroll through on a daily basis? That’s up to you.
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