Google Play Newsstand is a dedicated app that combines two existing Google services – paid-for magazines subscriptions via Play Magazines, plus free and paid news sources via Google Currents – into a single app. This makes perfect sense, and means Google’s single Newsstand app will be familiar to those using the Apple iOS version too.
What makes Google Play Newsstand stand out from similar apps is that it combines both paid-for services – news and magazines – with the free content espoused by the likes of Flipboard. There are three broad sections to navigate: Read Now, which is where Newsstand combines breaking news with trending articles from news and magazine sources you subscribe to.
It also includes potentially interesting information that – over time – should actually become more relevant as the service understands your interests. All articles are tagged, which also means you can tap a tag to quickly check out related content and help Newsstand learn your interests.
Tap the left-hand menu to explore other areas of the app – My News features your subscribed news feeds, while My Magazines takes you to your paid-for magazine subs. Bookmarks lets you retrieve stories you’ve marked personally for reading later.
To find new services to add, tap Explore. From here you can browse by category for search using specific keywords. Everything’s laid out in Google’s card view, which means it’s instantly familiar to Google junkies, and reasonably intuitive – after a short period – to everyone else.
The big issue Newsstand has – along with its iOS counterpart – is the sheer scale of what it’s trying to achieve. With so many news sources and outlets competing for your attention, you’ll need to put in a fair bit of legwork to set it up and let it learn what you want to read, and even then you’ll probably find yourself missing out on lots of useful content.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all your news and magazine-reading needs on your Android device, then this is it, but it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with all those news feeds.