Google News may soon be getting a nice upgrade on its mobile/iOS/iPad versions.
The company is testing a new look and feel that also includes additional functionality not present on the existing mobile/iOS/iPad version of Google News.
(Disclaimer: The reason I keep writing “mobile/iOS/iPad” is that we don’t know if this test is limited only to the iPad, or just iOS devices, or all mobile versions of Google News. Our source, Search Engine Land reader Stephen from Hand Picked Creatives) has encountered the new/test version of Google News randomly over the past week or so.)
As you can see below, the new user interface looks much cleaner with new fonts and a better overall use of screen space, in my opinion. Gone is the existing dropdown that lets you choose between four existing layouts (Modern, Headlines, Compact and Classic). The topics — World, Business, Sports, etc. — are across the top, rather than in a column on the left. The “realtime coverage” button, currently blue in the existing Google News mobile experience, becomes gray.
Another screenshot shows even more changes. Clicking the “realtime coverage” button brings up a similar mix of realtime and in-depth articles, along with the Google+ sharing that currently exists, but there’s a new three-button slider in the menu. Stephen says those function the same way iOS users use page indicator dots, letting you swipe from one story to the next. There’s also a “Timeline of articles” that doesn’t show up in this space in the current Google News mobile.
The test seems fairly limited at the moment. Stephen says he doesn’t see it every time he accesses Google News on the iPad, and he didn’t see it today on the iPhone.
When shown the new Google News screenshots above, a Google spokesperson gave us the company’s standard response: “We’re always experimenting with ways to deliver relevant and valuable news to Google News readers, but have nothing to announce at this time.”