Google has brought together its former Google Play Magazines app and its Google Currents app to create a new Google Play Newsstand app where Android users can get all the news and stories they want to read in one convenient place.
"Staying up on the news can be a daunting task," wrote Mussie Shore, product manager for Google Play Newsstand, in a Nov. 20 post on the Android Official Blog. "You have to go to a different website or app for each of your favorite magazines, newspapers and blogs. One place to read and discover all of this would be a lot simpler."
That's the motivation for the new Google Play Newsstand app for Android phones and tablets—to bring together a user's favorite news sources in one reader app, wrote Shore.
"Newsstand puts the news you care about most front and center and presents stories that interest you based on your tastes," she wrote. "The more you read the better it will get. You can subscribe to magazines, newspapers, blogs and news sites and we'll format and optimize them all for reading on your tablet or phone. With the swipe of a finger, you can browse full length articles, with beautiful images, audio and video right inside the app."
Users of the app can also access these articles when offline or they can be bookmarked to read later, she added.
So far, Google Play Newsstand offers more than 1,900 free and paid, full-length publications that users can subscribe to and follow with their Android devices, according to Shore. Included are newspapers such as The Australian, The Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, The National Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal; and magazines including Better Homes & Gardens, The Economist, Esquire, Fast Company, Forbes, Game Informer, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Shape, TIME, Vanity Fair and WIRED. Users will also be able to follow blogs from sources such as Apartment Therapy, Colossal, Cool Hunting, Flavorpill, Saveur Daily, TMZ and The Verge; as well as content from news sites such as ABC News, The Atlantic, CBS Sports, CNET, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, The Guardian, NPR, Reuters and The Telegraph.
Users of the new app will be able to pay for fee-based publications in the service through their Google Play accounts.
Users of the former Google Play Magazines app in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia will be automatically upgraded to the new Google Play Newsstand app over the next few days, wrote Shore. Users in all other countries can download the Play Newsstand app for their Android devices from Google Play. Users of the existing Google Currents app can upgrade to Play Newsstand by downloading the new app, she wrote. When upgrading to the new app, a user's chosen news sources will be transferred and available to read immediately, she added.
Apple has had a similar all-in-one Newsstand app for its iOS devices for some time, offering content from newspapers and magazines from around the world.
An earlier Google newsreader product, Google Reader, was killed off on July 1 as part of a winnowing process for lesser-used Google services. Reader was a simple, sturdy, reliable and basic RSS reader, but it had an outdated user interface and was dumped to make way for improved methods of delivering content to users.