Starting today, you can ask Google Assistant to “play me to the news” and it’ll create a curated playlist of audio news stories. The feature, called Your News Update, is available on any phone or smart speaker with access to Google Assistant. Each update will start with a couple of short, general interest news bites before transitioning to longer-form stories.
For example, if you’re a Steelers fan in Chicago, Google says you might first hear a story about the latest work on the “L” metro system before the update moves to a look at the recent Steelers game and a mix of national headlines. Google says Assistant will pick these stories based on your interests, location and history, as well as the top headlines at that moment. The company explains that the feature works by analyzing what’s said in an audio file to match stories with people. In between each news hit, Assistant will chime in to let you know what story you’re about to listen to next, as well as what organization published it.
To enable the feature, launch the Google app and navigate to the Assistant settings page. Under the “You” tab, find and tap the “News” subheading, followed by the “Change your playlist format” option and then tap “Your News Update.” The feature is currently available only in the US, though Google says its plans to expand its availability globally starting next year.