25 May 2021
Google wants to change the way you consume audio news via Google Assistant on your smartphone or a smart speaker. It has announced a new feature called Your News Update for users in the United States. It is essentially a playlist of personalized audio news clips curated from a variety of sources.
Your News Update is like having your personalized Google News text feed in the form of audio clips. It will start with a quick overview of top news followed by some local news and then longer news stories. Google Assistant will speak out the name of the source for each news story before reading it. As a user, you will be able to pause or skip any news story anytime you want by using relevant voice commands. The latter is what will help Assistant refine your future audio news feeds to better suit your preferences.
Google has partnered with a number of news publications to make this new feature work. Some of these include ABC, Fox News, USA Today, Cheddar, Mashable, Al Jazeera, AP, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, NBA, iHeart Radio, Wired, Reuters, and The Washington Post among others.
Once it becomes available, users will be able to choose whether they want their daily dose of news stories in the form of Your News Update or existing News briefings format. The latter is the method Google introduced last year where a user has to choose the news sources and set their order. Assistant then reads news briefings from each of the selected sources one by one. The selection can be made by visiting Assistant settings -> You -> News. After this, all you need to do is to say, "Hey Google, play me the news".
As said in the beginning, Your News Update is currently limited to United States users and that too in the English language. Google says it will expand the feature globally sometime next year.