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Google News and Weather Update

Google News and Weather Update

The very useful yet very outdated Google News and Weather app just got a massive 2.0 update that revamps the old app and gives it some style, with hints of Android L Material design and cards interface. This seems to be just the latest effort from Google to bring up and update the core Android apps to the new visual design elements of Android L, as they try to leave the old Gingerbread/ICS style behind and create a unified UI that doesn’t clash with the OS itself. Along with the new visual flair, the app itself also brings a few new features, a better usage of space and an overall translation into a modern app. Let’s start with the basics. To install, follow this link and grab it from the Play Store. Once you do, open it and you’ll see the now common introduction to the app, showing you some of the features. Swipe to advance:

 

After this, you’ll get to the main interface. As you can see, things are much different from the old version, with a focus on content:

To start off, you can change the weather location right away by pressing the edit button and picking a different location, if you want. A small menu will pop out allowing you to continue with the auto-detection or pick a location manually:

The sidebar lists some of the news categories you can look for, including regional content, content specifically from your current location, national news, entertainment, tech and so on. It’s all organized in a very natural and simple manner to navigate. Just swipe the sidebar and pick your interests:

And of course, just as expected, all of it can be customized and cherry-picked to suit your interests. To start off, you can change country editions altogether by pressing the three dotted menu and tapping “Change editions”:

That will help you pick news tailored for a specific location and country, automatically replacing the current news with localized versions that suit the place. You can also completely customize the categories to begin with, by creating your own and removing those that don’t interest you, by picking the “Manage sections” option:

To manually refresh the news, just swipe from the top and the app will automatically fetch new articles. The app also comes, like before, with some useful widgets, but this time they seem to be better designed to take advantage of the space. There are 2 widgets available:

The big one combines the weather forecast with an overview of the news – you can scroll down and pick stories to read from your homescreen:

The smaller widget lets you choose the content – from 5 day forecast to the current weather and main news:

It’s all fairly customizable and does serve a purpose. You can scale them up or down, and they’ll scale appropriately and actually take advantage of the extra space. This wave of Google refreshes and updates to the core apps couldn’t come at a better time. As we all get ready to adopt Android L, it makes complete sense to bring the app ecosystem up to the new standards whenever possible, and hopefully well in advance of the actual release of the OS. Developers everywhere seem to be prepping and getting their apps ready to adopt the new look and animation framework, and with Google setting the example, it’s easier to see where things are heading, and serves as an incentive for developers to step up their game as well.

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Carlos S.

Carlos is a guy. He likes technology and gadgets, and sometimes even writes about them! You can routinely see him playing with his smartphone and avoiding social interaction.
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