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Google News will soon be witnessing some major changes. According to a report by AdAge, the service will be getting a "new design" and will "incorporate elements of the [Google Play] Newsstand app and YouTube."
The new Google News will be powered by Google's new AMP technology. It is expected to launch at Google I/O 2018. Google is said to be in talks with publishers about the new design. AdAge also quotes one anonymous publishing executive as saying, "It's a consolidation of all the ways you can interact with news on Google...There are a lot of Google services where you find news, and what they're trying to do is bring it all under one brand."
The overhaul comes as a surprise since the current design is less than a year old. It's still unclear whether the new design is just to bring in YouTube and Play Newsstand or the whole thing is rebuilt from scratch. The report also suggests that Google news will get a new app.
The report also mentions Google Play Newsstand is going to close as part of the overhaul. Besides, Google Play Music is also expected to shut when it merges with YouTube.
It seems that the Google Play branding is seeing its end slowly. The brand comprises Google Play Store (Android's app store), Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, Google Play Books, and Google Play Newsstand. There's a possibility that media apps such as Music and Movies & TV will all merge into YouTube.
Besides, Google has been awarded a patent that looks purely basic but cool at the same time. The patent shows a method of generating "animated user identifiers." So when the users make a voice or video call, the system will click pictures using the selfie camera to create a little animation and send it to the receiver.
The same animation can be used again for contact apps, chat apps or any other place where the identifier will be appropriate. Google has been working on better user identifiers for quite some time now. The patent is a follow-up to the patent filed in 2016 and is also implemented a related version of this in Duo, its video calling app.