Google wants to make its News app accessible to more people around the world, even if they don’t have access to reliable internet, or high-powered devices. Yet rather than rolling out a ‘light’ version of the regular app, Google is revamping the original app to extend these benefits to everyone who already has it installed. Here’s what’s new.
The app page describes the newly optimised app as being “designed to run smoothly on devices with limited memory and on unreliable networks, without compromising speed and news content.” What this means in practice is a whole host of changes to the way the app hosts and displays content like text, video and images.
For starters, videos won’t auto-play, which is good news even for those who aren’t viewing on slow connections. When possible the new app will open videos in the lightweight YouTube Go app, which also offers the option to download videos for viewing later.
Story previews will also be made more lightweight, focusing on text over videos and images. Images will be compressed and gifs will no longer auto-play, though both can be loaded with a tap.
For people with not much space on their device, the new version of Google News will also save less cache data on your device, though you can save articles for reading offline if you so choose.
The updates will be rolling out over the next few weeks, and will be added as default, rather than opt-in settings.
What do you think of the updates to Google News? Let us know in the comments below!