In November of 2019, Google upgraded Assistant’s “play me the news” capability with personalized audio digests. Google Assistant has now removed “Your News Update” and gone back to only offering standard sources. 

For the past two years, Google has offered two “News playlist format[s].” The original “News briefing” dates back to the inception of Google Home and was comprised of short shows that you manually choose to hear and can re-order.  

In comparison, “Your News Update” offered a “mix of short news stories chosen in that moment based on your interests, location, user history, and preferences, as well as the top news stories out there.” If you keep listening, Google plays longer-form content, with Assistant introducing “which publishers and updates are next” in between clips.  

If you’re a Steelers fan who follows the stock market and lives in Chicago, for example, you might hear a story about the latest “L” construction, an analysis of last Thursday’s Steelers game and a market update, in addition to the latest national headlines.

It made for a more personalized audio experience that took into consideration your news interests, which Google is aware of from Discover and Search. In September of 2020, Google brought Your News Update to Google Podcasts and introduced more natural text-to-speech voices. 

Currently, going to Google Assistant settings > News only offers the “News briefing” option. Those that had used “Your News Update” are seeing a message announcing the deprecation today:

Your News Update is no longer available, but you can still get the latest news from your favorite shows by adding them here

Meanwhile, it’s also gone from the Google Podcasts Explore tab.

Update: A Google spokesperson confirmed the removal and called it a “streamlining.”

We’re streamlining our audio news products to improve users’ experience. People will still be able to get audio briefings through News Briefings on Google Assistant. 

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: