December 6, 2013


Readers visiting Google News on smartphones will see some changes starting today thanks to a redesign that includes better navigation, enhanced customization and more features from the desktop site.

Increasingly people are reading News “on the go” and using their smartphones to keep abreast of the latest happenings around the globe. Over the next few days Google News readers on Android and iOS devices will start to see a beautiful new version of the mobile web app that will provide an improved overall experience resulting in a kind of real time news desk for you on your phone.

Users can view a dark or light theme, opt for larger, more detailed story cards, and access the weather and editor’s picks features popular on the desktop site.

The old Google News on mobile phones, left, and the redesign, right.

That so many readers reach the 11-year-old aggregator across multiple platforms — desktop, tablet and smartphone — fueled a desire for consistency, said Mayuresh Saoji, product manager for Google News, via phone. He wouldn’t say how much of Google News’ audience is mobile, but said the site is observing the same well-documented trend as other news sources: more smartphone and tablet use.

Even within the mobile category itself, Saoji said, users have different preferences, and Google’s goal is to provide more choice. Saoji cited Reynolds Journalism Institute research indicating users often prefer the mobile Web to apps. But for those who prefer to live in the app ecosystem, the new Google Play Newsstand is there for them on Android devices too, he said.

Google’s new Media Tools site has tips for publishers wanting to maximize their visibility on Google News.

Related: Is Google Play Newsstand a viable alternative to standalone Android apps?

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Sam Kirkland is Poynter's digital media fellow, focusing on mobile and social media trends. Previously, he worked at the Chicago Sun-Times as a digital editor,…
Sam Kirkland

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