With search queries about COVID-19 surpassing even those for weather and the news, Google in recent weeks has worked to compile that information together. In Google News, there is a new COVID-19 hub, while Assistant and Podcasts have similar experiences.
The COVID-19 topic can be accessed from the top of the Android and iOS apps, as well as the online sidebar. It “pulls together and organizes all the latest news at the global and local level” with two tabs. Categories under “Latest” include Local news (available in 10 countries), Economic impact, Science & research, Healthcare, and Travel.
“Global impact” shows the news for Africa, Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, South-East Asia, and Western Pacific.” Google is also experimenting on how to best fact check information through a dedicated section to address harmful misinformation.
There’s also a link to the “latest guidance regarding prevention, symptoms, and treatment from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other authoritative sources.” It’s available in 20 countries today and coming to more soon. This experience also powers what appears in the Google Search SOS Alert/Knowledge Panel when looking up COVID-19, while tweets from local authorities are also shown.
Meanwhile, asking Assistant “what’s the latest news on coronavirus” will provide timely updates. You can focus a command by specifying a city. It’s available globally on mobile devices, and in over 10 languages for Smart Displays and speakers. Google notes that “half of listens to our audio news feature Your News Update have included a coronavirus story from a local news outlet” in the past month.
In Podcasts, the recently revamped Explore tab features a dedicated carousel given the “dozens of new high-quality podcasts about coronavirus.”
More about coronavirus:
- Assistant Snapshot feed adds ‘COVID-19 alert’ card
- Google aggregates user location history to quantify COVID-19
- Google Assistant adds useful ‘coronavirus tips’ as Discover adds news shortcut
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