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I get customized news from Google Assistant every day. Here's how you can too

Say "Hey, Google, play the news" and your Android device will do just that. Don't like what you're hearing? It's easy to select your preferred news sources.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Android figure at Google CES 2024
June Wan/ZDNET

When you say, "Hey, Google, play the news" your phone, tablet, or speaker will give you a vocal summary of the news, like a podcast geared specifically for important events that have gone on around the world. But where and how does it select the sources it draws on? 


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Or, more specifically, your configuration options.

Although, out of the box, Google Assistant is configured with certain news organizations that it draws upon, the developers have allowed for the customization of those sources. This is a nice feature, especially if you have a preferred news source.

You'll find several categories to choose from, including General, Technology, Business, Sports, World, Entertainment, Politics, Science, Health, Art And Lifestyle, National, and Local. Within each category, there are different sources to select. The list isn't exhaustive (and local news could certainly use more sources), but you should find enough to round out your news wrap-up.

Let me show you how you can customize news wrap-up from Google Assistant.

How to customize your news sources

What you'll need: The only thing you'll need is an Android device that includes Google Assistant. I would make sure your device is fully updated, so you're not only getting the best experience but also the added security that comes with the updates. Fall too far behind and your device can become vulnerable.

With that taken care of, let's add some sources.

1. Open Settings

The first thing to do is open the Settings app. You can do this by either pulling down the Notification Shade twice and tapping the gear icon at the bottom or by locating and tapping the Settings launcher in the App Drawer.

2. Open Apps

Next, locate and tap Apps.

The Apps entry in Android Settings.

You should find Apps near the top of the Settings page.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

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3. Go to Assistant

From the Apps page, find the Assistant entry and tap it.

The Assistant entry within Settings > Apps.

You'll find Assistant under the General section.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4. Find You

The next step on your journey is to locate You and tap it.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Whoever said you couldn't find You in the digital divide...

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

5. Go to News

On the resulting page, tap News.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

All the news that's fit to hear.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

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6. Add your sources

On the News page, tap Add Shows at the top. You'll then be taken to the sources page, where you can scan through all the categories and listings. When you find a source you want, tap the Star icon to add it. Continue doing this until you've added all the sources you want. When you've finished, tap Done.

The Art and Lifestyle news category.

You'll find plenty of sources to choose from.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

7. Arrange your sources

Finally, you can arrange the news sources to place your favorites on top. To move a source, grab the move handle to the left of the source and drag it up or down. Continue with this until you have the order you want.

A sample listing of news sources for Google Assistant.

Arranging your sources is as easy as tap and drag.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

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Congratulations, you've just customized the news sources Google Assistant will use when you say, "Hey, Google, play the news," so you'll get only the news you want, read aloud by Android.

And who said we weren't drawing ever nearer to the singularity?

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