The Google Assistant has been able to read out the news for three years now, but it would usually stick to the biggest headlines every time you asked it for an update.
Now, with a new feature called Your News Update, Google has employed an algorithm to provide a news briefing tailored more to your personal interests. Of course, Google can do this because the company already knows an awful lot about you.
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With this data, the Assistant can now serve up news reports from your local area, followed by the sports results of your favorite teams, and headlines relevant to your interests.
Where the old system requires you to dig into the Google app and pick then order which news sources you want to listen to, Your News Update works things out for itself. The feature works on any device with access to the Google Assistant, like smartphones, speakers and displays throughout your smart home.
To enable Your News Update, open the Google Assistant smartphone app, tap on the profile icon in the top right corner, then tap on News and switch your news playlist format.
Instead of reading every news item itself the Google Assistant acts as a presenter, introducing each story and its source before handing over to pre-recorded stories provided by a wide range of US and international news publications and broadcasters.
These are snippets of audio outlining each story, before the Assistant moved on to the next topic. After headlines, local news and sport, Google Assistant heads into a series of more in-depth pieces.
To start the news update, say: "Hey Google, play me the news." It can be stopped at any time, and if you make the same command again later in the day, the Assistant will pick up from where it left off.
News partners providing content for this feature include ABC, CBS, USA Today, Fox News, The Washington Post, Cheddar, Reuters, CNN, AP, NBA, Wired, and The Economist. In all there are 48 news partners at launch.
Your News Update is available in English for US users now, and will be rolling out internationally in 2020.
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