Many like to compare Google Play Newsstand to Flipboard, the news and information curation app and service. While Flipboard certainly has its strengths and features that Google Play Newsstand doesn’t offer, the Google alternative does have some great features. Frankly I look at these as complementary apps more than anything because Google’s app, while Flipboardesque in many ways, equally has some features that make it stand out. Most notably, it is your source for magazine reading for your Google Play subscriptions through the Play Store.
The latest update to Google Play Newsstand is available now and it brings a great new feature that allows you to pin a news source from the app directly onto your Home Screen, saving you from having to tap into the app. You love everything you read on AP (Associated Press)? Then pin it to your Home Screen. To get this new feature you need to be running the latest version of Google Play Newsstand, build 3.4.2 on Android phones for those keeping score at home, which is available as now in the Play Store
To use the new Home Screen pinning feature in Google Play Newsstand, open up the app to the News section. Tap the menu (the three vertical dots next to the source name) and then towards the bottom you will see the option “Add to home screen”. Tap that and in a few seconds you will be notified that a link to that source has been created on your device’s screen. Now you can get information from that particular source without having to actually open up the Google Play Newsstand app and navigate to it.
Along with this new Home Screen pinning feature, the app has made some great improvements around accessibility. Now you can change the font of the text in Google Play Newsstand to a much larger size for those who are visually impaired and the app works a bit more seamlessly with the Accessibility features that are inherent in Android. Finally, as you would expect, there are the normal raft of bug fixes and other improvements that are mentioned in the Release Notes but what exactly was addressed is a mystery.
Google Play Newsstand is a free app and available in the Play Store. If you are looking to augment your Flipboard experience or looking for an alternative that also is an eReader, take a look at this app. I personally like it a lot for what it has to offer.