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Google's Search App Is Getting a Big Update

20 July 2017, 01:02 | Hattie Nash

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Launching today in the U.S., and internationally in the coming weeks, the Google app for iOS now includes a personalized feed filled with things like news stories, live sports highlights, and suggested videos, all of which are merged in the feed with other data we've come to expect from the Google app such as local weather, relevant travel info, and more. This feature evolved with Google Now on Tap and some of these features have moved onto Google Assistant while others have been left behind in the Google application.

You can also tell Google about specific things you want to follow in your feed. The search engine giant, however, maintains that Google Feed is unlike the Facebook News Feed, and the whole idea behind upgrading the feed is to create another stream of relevant search results, notes Reuters.

What's more, Google said a user's personalized feed will also "reflect your interest level for various topics-for example, if you're a photography enthusiast but just casually interested in fitness, your feed will show that". For example, if you search for the Netflix's popular show "Stranger Things" then Feed offers you an option to follow the topic (as shown in the GIF below) and see timely information about it within the feed timeline. Another new feed feature is the ability to follow topics yourself.

Machine learning is a pretty big draw, but obviously, it's not going to be able to gauge your interests and disinterests accurately 100% of the time, especially at first. You can do this in the settings, but also from search results.

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Further advancements to Google's personalized feed include improved machine learning algorithms, which are said to be more capable at anticipating what an individual may find interest.

Though the similarities are clear, Google employees were "adamant that this news feed is nothing like Facebook's News Feed", Wired reported. But it raises more questions about just how much Google knows about us, and how it uses that information to deliver ads. A quick tap of the the follow button and you'll start getting updates and stories about that topic in your feed.

By mentioning "your interactions with Google", the search company hopes to bring all of your actions on various Google properties (Calendar, YouTube, etc.) and bring them into one place.

I have used Google Now for years to keep up to date with all my favorite soccer teams. Google's new feed will hopefully do a better job. Initially available on mobile search app, Google feed will also appear in Google.com page and browsers.

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