Google Now has long been the center of the mobile search experience, offering relevant information as well as things you’re interested in. Over the past few months, Google Now has been angling itself more and more towards content and interests, and today, Google has announced that Google Now, at least the name, is being replaced with the “Feed.”
The feed has been a part of Google Now since December when it was originally introduced, and its primary focus is on content, including news articles and videos that line up with topics you care about. Unlike Google Now, the feed pulls a lot of its information from things you’ve followed, but it does still use your Google Search history and Chrome browsing history to improve its results and customize them for you.
New with the feed, though, is the ability to follow specific topics from searches. A search for a TV Show, say, Stranger Things, presents users with the ability to follow that as a topic to see timely information about the show within the feed. The same applies to movies, people, politics, sports, and much more. Google says that the feed will even have the ability to pull information and articles that, while not particularly new, may be very relevant to the user.
Look out for a new “Follow” button next to certain types of search results—including movies, sports teams, your favorite bands or music artists, famous people, and more. A quick tap of the follow button and you’ll start getting updates and stories about that topic in your feed.
The goal of the feed is to make the Google app your one-stop shop for searches and news throughout the day. Google hopes that users will end up opening the feed just as much as they do Twitter or Facebook.
What’s happening to the information previously found in Google Now? It’s not going away, it’s just moving. From this point forward, the feed will have its primary content-driven section, with an “updates” tab that holds a lot of the information seen in Now. The primary feed will, however, still show some information from Now such as Google Calendar events. On my device, it also shows weather information.
The feed will takeover wherever Now was previously seen, including the Android and iOS Google Search apps, as well as the left-most page on your homescreen for devices like the Google Pixel. We caught a glimpse of that over the weekend.
The feed is rolling out starting today, and should already be live for many users on Android and iOS in the United States.
The new feed experience is available in the Google app for Android (including the Pixel Launcher) and iOS, launching today in the U.S. and rolling out internationally in the next couple of weeks. Just open the Google app and scroll up to get started.
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