Getting news in the morning has long been my most used feature on Google Assistant. Asking Home â€œwhatâ€™s in the newsâ€� brings up a quick flash briefing from a handful of selected outlets. Itâ€™s quick, itâ€™s easy and it helps fill me in on the way out the door.
Googleâ€™s long promised to improve on this feature, offering an on-demand take on news radio. Over the past year or so, itâ€™s been working with a handful of publishers â€” including The Associated Press, Hollywood Reporter, Universo Online and the South China Morning Post â€” to create news playlists. The audio feed adapts to the time of day and the listenerâ€™s preference, using a similar AI model to the one that currently powers Google News.
â€œIt starts with a briefing of top stories and updates on topics you care about, and extends into longer-form content that dives deeper into more stories,â€� the company writes in a blog post. â€œAt any point in your day when you want to listen to the latest newsâ€”as a morning wake-up, during your commute, or while joggingâ€”the Google Assistant will be ready with new stories and updates to the ones youâ€™ve already heard.â€�
Like the current offering, users can ask Google to skip or repeat certain stories.
In addition to its existing partnerships, the company has created a template for news outlets to record stories that can be plugged into the feed. Thereâ€™s also the new Google News Initiative, which is designed to help outlets create more audio offerings.
The feature is starting to roll out now to users in the U.S.
Update: Google has reached out to note that the product is still in the early stages, so don’t exact to see a wide release of the final version just yet.
Source: Techcrunch Disrupt