Google wrecks personalized news page. Good alternatives?

Another complaint about Google News that I haven’t seen mentioned:

If you change the ‘Language & Region’ settings, it doesn’t remember the change the next time you go there, but reverts back to what it was.

Nobody mentioned that it was a phone issue. That makes all the difference.

It’s not just a phone issue. On a phone or tablet the layout is more problematic than on a large screen, but all the other problems are the same on all systems.

I was referring in my OP to the desktop version.

Those are iPad screens.

They look the same before/after on my desktop screen, though.

“Mobile device”, like Communism, is a red herring.

I never knew that. I was actually trying to joke about a return to 1995. :slight_smile:

I’m testing out Feedly.

Pros:

For every source I give it, it pulls in basically everything they have, rather than just periodically showing the random article from that source every few months.

The app is pretty good.

Cons:

You have to know what sources you want.

It just ranks articles by popularity (weddings, shootings, missing blondes, etc.) and/or by recency, which is just everything in the world. Google used some sort of analysis to boost things that it knew I would be interested in. Here, you’re out of luck. (Popularity+Recency mix mode doesn’t suck.)

A lot more paywalls. Google must have had some deals with news sources to show their content at certain rates for free.


Overall, I think I’ll adapt and (once I’ve started paying for all the sources I’m reading), I think I’ll end up ahead of where I was before because I’ll be getting more articles overall, rather than never even getting a chance to ignore something.

(Getting off topic) I suspect that the impetus for the change was that Google is trying to combat the echo chamber of the Internet by removing everyone’s control of their sources. As such, it may be unlikely that they’ll go back to the original design.

Unfortunately, I used their filtering to get rid of things that score poorly on factuality ratings. But I accept that I’m probably in the minority on that (though, not necessarily on the SDMB).

Google also used to have an RSS feed, since discontinued.

Link to google finance discussion from last January. There was a workaround back then that no longer works. https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=847801

Ironically, I would be willing to pay an annual fee for google’s services and UI from 5 years ago. As for the present, alternatives deserve investigation. Here’s a comparison of feed aggregators at wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_feed_aggregators

What a lot of people don’t understand is that Google is an ad company. Any other services that they provide are purely optional on their part, and may be discontinued on a whim.

A lot of people understand that. Some don’t understand why google would replace services that gain page views with services that drive eyeballs away to other websites.

Google has a long history of pissing me off with creating great little features, then removing them. I still haven’t gotten over the “Google Home Page” (I don’t recall the official name) where you could have widgets for weather, top 3 local headlines, market indices, etc. I loved it - then they killed it for no discernible reason. It couldn’t have been cost.

Google Finance is another they recently screwed up, as others mentioned. Despite my skepticism, I’ve switched to finance.yahoo.com and created a portfolio view that I really, really like - even better than what GF had been.

And now news.google.com is a fail, too. It was one of my go-to sites 2-3x a day, but if I have to wade through sports and entertainment, and have to make a handful of clicks just to see my old personalized content, then I’m abandoning the platform.

I generally like the New York Times articles and writing (if they aren’t on pop culture or “news of the weird” topics), but I shudder at the subscription cost.
Question: if you subscribe to the NYT (digital), can you customize your feed on their site?
If so, it might be worth the $10/month (to me).

PS: I’ve been trying the Google News app (iOS), but so far I’m not seeing a great deal of customization actually being delivered.

I’m always on the search for a good news aggregator but have yet to find one. If anyone knows of one where I can define the keywords I’m interested in, include/exclude sources so I can block FoxNews.com if I want to, create sections where the articles will be displayed in, and the site/app scours the internet for relevant stories, I’d be interested in hearing about it. I had used a few RSS readers in the past, Google’s included, but think the current ones lack the intelligence I’m looking for. At this point I’m considering developing one of my own just so I can optimize my news reading.

A lot of newspaper websites operate on the basis “you can read X articles per month free” but more than that you have to pay. This X is set in a browser cookie. For many sites to get around this all you have to do is access the website via private browsing/incognito mode:
https://www.digitalcitizen.life/how-browse-web-incognito-all-big-browsers

I am a subscriber on my iPad (switched when the cost of the dead tree local paper hit the same as the NYT digital).

The only customization I see is the ability to rearrange items on the menu.

You can download it and try it for free.

Thanks, PastTense and jasg; while I like their reporting, it doesn’t sound like subscribing would be any more efficient.

Another vote for the suckiness of the redesigned Google News page! They ruined the Android version of their news app too… Newsstand, which used to have a neat little widget for displaying headlines from your favorite topic, has been replaced by News, which is so basic that it’s pretty much worthless. As of now, Google’s News & Weather app is still showing my custom topics from the Google News page, but like the new News app, its widgets force you to view weather alongside news snippets, which is useless to me.

On my craptastic work computer, I resorted to creating live bookmarks in Firefox to keep up with certain RSS feeds. I’ve also been using Feedly and Flipboard on my phone for years. Feedly is great for following specific feeds – I even use it to keep up with comic strips – and their Android widget is nice. Flipboard is great for following topics as well as specific sources, but some people might find the flipping part to be a bit gimmicky.

I’m not crazy about customized content by my wife uses Flipboard News and she’s happy with it.

Just to add in another google complaint:

They used to be the best way to aggregate local news. There is a “local” on the side, but it doesn’t seem to work nearly as well. I get fewer results from a much wider geographic area. When I am interested in local, I’m not really all that interested in stuff that happened on the other side of the state.

Why is it that when something works well Google and other sites (IMDB, I’m looking at you) always have to meddle with it and make it worse? It used to be so simple to remove sections or re-order them. As far as I can tell that’s impossible now (and yes, I’ve tried following the instructions on that Google News Forum post. They don’t work.)

Screw Google.