Google News is going bilingual. The company announced this morning a new feature that will allow users to update their Google News settings to support two languages instead of one, in an effort to better serve the more than 60% of people worldwide who speak and read news across two or more languages.
The change means you won’t have to constantly toggle between two languages in order to keep up with news that’s being covered elsewhere. This is particularly important for those who have moved to a different country, but want to keep up with their news from back home, as well as in places where it’s common for people to speak multiple languages.
Google cites the ability to read both English and Hindi news at the same time as a key example.
The update won’t impact your other personalization preferences, Google notes — it will just pull in more stories that match the topics and interests you care about.
The changes follow a larger revamp of the Google News product and destination website that’s been underway for over a year. At Google’s developer conference in 2018, the company announced its plans to leverage AI technology to help select which stories were shown first and how the news selection would be customized to each user, while not trapping them in so-called “filter bubbles” where they don’t have access to fact checks or the other side’s opinion.
That AI-powered version of the Google News app rolled out last spring.
More recently, Google revamped the Google News tab on the desktop to organize articles in a card-style layout, which was meant to improve readability and better highlight the publisher sources.
Today’s new bilingual feature, however, is aimed at the Google News mobile app user base.
Google says the feature is available now across 141 countries and 41 languages on the Google News app for both iOS and Android. (On the desktop, you still have to pick just one language, we found.)
The company notes that being able to read news in other languages can also help people widen their perspective on issues.
“There’s still lots more to do to help connect people with quality and trustworthy news on the issues they care about, but we hope today’s update will make it easier to connect with different cultures and perspectives from the comfort of your device,” Google says.