Google has merged two of its reading apps into one with the release of Google Play Newsstand 3.0. The app brings together the magazine subscriptions from its old Google Play Magazines app with the news-aggregating Currents app, retiring both in the process.
The new app aims to provide a one-stop shop not just for magazines and newspapers – over 1,900 different publications are currently supported – but also allows users to add their own news sources too using RSS feeds.
The app simply updates the Google Play Magazines app in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, but requires a separate download in other territories. On installation it will also migrate over any current settings and subscriptions from Google Currents before removing that app from installed devices.
The app uses Google’s familiar card view, so existing users should find it relatively easy to navigate. It splits itself into five sections: Read Now, My News, My Magazines, Bookmarks and Explore. By default, users are taken to the Read Now view where a mixture of breaking news and trending topics, plus items the app thinks may be of interest to the reader, are shown for quick and easy access.
Users can also browse existing subscriptions via the two My… sections, retrieve previously saved news items from the Bookmarks section and locate new feeds and subscriptions via the Explore section of the app (as well as subscribing from within interesting content itself).
Articles are automatically tagged with a single subject, and users can view related items by tapping this tag. Doing so helps the app learn the reader’s interests, helping it deliver more relevant content to the Read Now section.
The app does suffer from the sheer scale of content it tries to aggregate into a single location, so users should be prepared to spend some time tailoring its content to their personal preferences before it starts delivering interesting stories, but
Initially only available on Android devices, Google has plans to roll out an iOS app next year. Google Play Newsstand 3.0.0 is available now as a free download for Android devices running Android 2.2 or later.
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