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Google Play Newsstand launches on the web

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Along with a complete redesign on Android and iOS, Google has released a version of the Google Play Newsstand 4.0 also for the web. Apart from the web version of the app, the other improvements in this version include personalisation and rich media, writes Sami Shalabi, Head of Product and Engineering Google Play Newsstand in the company blog. Presently, the company claims to have over 100 million monthly users on its Newsstand app.

The personalisation of the app will be done using Google’s machine learning technology to find and recommend content based on the user’s interest. The app comes with a data saver mode that will work according to the available data and bandwidth preferences. When we checked the app, it seemed to open only through a Chrome browser, and not through a Safari browser on a MacBook Pro.

High-level of Personalisation

There seems to be a high level of personalisation available on the Newsstand app considering that all Google products can be accessed with the same id. The app requires you to log into your Google account to be able to access it. On logging in, the app seems to pick up your current location.

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Below the top panel is the briefing section with the top news from different publications followed by the highlights section which is supposed to be a section with recommendations based on the user’s interest. Below the highlights section is the local news section which is again personalised based on the user’s current location.

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Below local news, is the suggested topics section which has a list of suggestions. These suggestions seem to be based on the user’s activities. (MediaNama is on my list of suggested topics. Google definitely seems to know me!) This section is followed by the featured articles section which has articles curated by Google editors. The app seems to show news content both in Hindi and English.

The app also has a library option in the panel on the left. This library has a list of publications and areas of interest (Technology, Sports, Business, World, Entertainment and Top News) that the user could pick from to browse different news content. The other sections in the app include read later and magazines. The main menu also comes with an option to shop allowing users to purchase magazines from the Google Play store, either using debit/credit card, net banking or redeem using a gift coupon.

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