Nov 23 AT 1:00 PM Taylor Wimberly 6 Comments

Hands on updated Google News for Android

What is Google’s answer to the ever increasing Android fragmentation? They choose to develop web applications that run in a mobile browser instead of trying to build native apps for every platform. Google first hinted at this strategy during this year’s Google I/O and they have stayed true to their word. Sure we have seen some new creations like Listen and Google Sky Map, but the majority of their services have remained web only and we do not expect that to change.

If you were waiting on Android versions of Reader, Analytics, Adsense, or any other Google service, it is most likely an optimized web version will be available first. We have seen this strategy recently as Google keeps pushing out updates for the mobile Gmail while ignoring the native Android client.

Google News for mobile just got a mini face lift and I spent a couple minutes playing around with it to capture some screens. The service now allows users to create a customizable jump menu which makes news items easier to navigate. To check the service out, point your mobile browser towards http://news.google.com.

From the official Google Mobile Blog:

This new version provides the same richness and personalization on your phone as Google News provides on desktop. Our new homepage displays more stories, sources, and images while keeping a familiar look and feel. Also, you can now reach your favorite sections, discover new ones, find articles and play videos in fewer clicks. If you are an existing Google News reader on desktop, you will find that all of your personalizations are honored in this mobile version too.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Dave

    Better bookmark organisation/access on the Android Browser would help me get enthusiastic about services being delivered as webapps. Will Google get the finger out and improve the browser or will I have to wait for Mozilla to do something exciting?

  • thecolorifix

    I have to say, I think Googles push for web based apps instead on native ones is idiotic. Especially with a phone like the G1 which has so little ram you can’t leave a webpage and come back to it without it refreshing.

    Until they get gears working MUCH better on Android (so all the basic html and images are stored locally to pull up quicker and use less data) native apps work better for just about everything.

  • Noice

    This fragmentation situation is quickly becoming the missing hand-grenade in the box for android. If Google itself is not focusing on native apps for it’s OS, then they have essentially rendered it a failed platform. I won’t “primarily” use in-browser webapps on the phone… even in good signal 3G, they are too slow to be effective.

    Buyer remorse slowly enters the horizon.

  • Nick

    Perhaps once more of us get updated to 2.0 with it’s enhanced HTML5 capabilities the prospect of web-apps will be more acceptable? Maybe they are just stalling until this is possible?

  • exilis

    My main issue with webapps is the lack of notifications!

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