An interesting rumor has surfaced just days before Google I/O 2018 about the future of Google News and Play Newsstand. In a post on AdAge, It is reported that News will become the flagship news service for the Mountain View company, integrating video elements and digital magazines into a single app. It will mean that Play Newsstand, where digital magazines are currently kept in the Google ecosystem, will be deprecated at some point.
The news is interesting as it reflects a broader effort by Google to streamline their app portfolio to be less congested and confusing for consumers. Taking this news in balance along with the expected revamp of Google Play Music and YouTube, Google is moving more to the “Google” brand and away from the “Play” brand. This has already happened with the company moving away from “Android” branding products too.
The efforts make sense. By moving to Google branding, the indication is that it becomes platform agnostic. Google has virtually all of their apps running on Android and iOS and having it under the company’s banner name will allow them to have flexibility in the future as mobile platforms evolve and change.
As to when this change is to happen, AdAge indicates that the announcement could come as soon as I/O next week.