Goodbye Google Now, hello new feed that obsessively track your interests

A smarter stream of information inside the Google app tries to anticipate your interests.

Google Now is gone, but your information feed lives on as a revamped, humbly no-name feed, whose mission is you and only you.

When you launch the new Google app (or swipe right on Pixel phones), it won’t look much different. The search bar remains at the top, followed by your shortcut icons and a series of cards based on your interests.

What’s changing is how Google populates it. As Google's Shashi Thakur writes in a blog post, “Your feed will not only be based on your interactions with Google, but also factor in what’s trending in your area and around the world. The more you use Google, the better your feed will be.”

Feed for thought: Google is constantly seeking ways to keep us immersed in its world of search and information, and the personalized feed is a natural extension of that mission. But it raises more questions about just how much Google knows about us, and how it uses that information to deliver ads. Google Now was always ad-free, but when the feed (by any name) gathers so much data about what we like to watch, read, and do, it seems like only a matter of time before Google starts to put all that valuable data to good use.

Feed me

The new feed is designed to save you the effort of looking for what you want. No longer will you need to pick which cards you want to see inside the Google app. Google’s machine learning algorithms will track what you search for to anticipate the things you’ll want to know about. In turn, your feed will factor in your preferences and interactions as well as global news trends to deliver a personalized, pinpointed information stream.

In a way, the new feed assumes some trappings of a social network. When you search for something, you’ll see a new Follow button for things such as sports teams, movies, and bands. Tapping it will tell Google that you want to receive updates in your feed about that topic. Google says it will take into account your interest level, feeding your obsessions more frequently than your passing fancies.

google feed follow Google

Now you can follow people and brands in your feed just like you would on Twitter.

Deeper and more personal

Google is making it easier to learn more about specific topics. A new scrollable tap will present additional information about news, including fact checks, opinion pieces, and related stories. You can also tap on a header to exit the feed and search as usual.

Of course, your feed is editable as before, and you can easily follow and unfollow topics by tapping the three dots to the right of each card. Inside you’ll be able to remove stories that you no longer want to see or stop receiving updates altogether.

The new feed is currently rolling out in the Google app to Android and iOS users in the U.S., with an international rollout beginning in the coming weeks.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Google NowGoogle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Simon

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?