Google redesigns mobile search app with personalised 'feed'

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The feed is now available in the Google app for Android and iOS in the U.S., and will roll out internationally in the coming weeks. Originally usable on mobile search app, the Google feed update will eventually be available on the google.com page as well as browsers. Not only does the smart feed provide yet another way for people to spend more time engaged with Google products and the ads that run on many of them, it adds another service from which Google can gather personal information it can leverage to sell ads targeted at individual people.

Google, a unit of Alphabet, also tweaked how it presents this search information, especially for users of its Pixel smartphone, who can access the feed by "swiping left" from their home screen. A new button for following specific topics will appear in search results alongside certain results as well, such as sports teams, television shows or musical artists.

"This feed is really about your interests - it's not really about what your friends are interested in, which is what other feeds do", Ben Gomes, Google's vice president of engineering, said at a news conference. This will let users fact check articles and see other relevant information about a topic.

Though the similarities are clear, Google employees were "adamant that this news feed is nothing like Facebook's News Feed", Wired reported. If Google gets it wrong, you can just unfollow a topic with a quick tap.

Expect to see everything from videos, to news articles, to listicles in the updated feed. But the real story here is that the search giant is quietly dropping its Google Now brand as well. The search engine will also feature "cards" containing information, including sport scores and news headlines.

In December, Google updated its Android app to add a constant news update, a feed. It will also reflect your interest level for various topics.

At the top of each card a header will identify the topics, allowing users to quickly search on the ones that are of interest.

These updates can make it easier to stay informed about the topics you care about, Thakur wrote.

Google have already tackled other problems with the recent addition of new anti-phishing tools, an OAuth whitelisting feature, and an enhanced app review process. It will roll out internationally in the next couple of weeks. Having users input this information could help Google further tailor search results and offer better information to advertisers.

The Google feed's greatest flaw is its lack of depth.

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