Google Play Newsstand finally has a web interface. The app has previously only been available on Android and iOS app.
It’s one of the few Play-branded Google services to get its own dedicated web app — the other is Music. Google Play Books, Movies & TV, and Games are only accessible via the Google Play Store. Oddly, while you can access the dedicated Google Play Music site through the Play Store, there is no way to access the Newsstand website — you can only manage your feed.
The website’s design mimics the recent visual overhaul on the mobile counterpart in design. You will find the weather forecast at the top along with a search bar and a middle column below shows the day’s news. To access different categories and publications, like tech or the New York Times, you can click the Library icon in the sidebar or pull out the hamburger menu.
The Read Later tab allows you to access articles you tag on your mobile device and you can also access any magazine content you have subscribed to via the Magazines tab.
Interestingly, web articles open either as a new tab with the original source or as a pop-up on the Newsstand site. The pop-up variants load much faster and you do not need to hit the back button to reload the Newsstand site to resume scrolling.
The service now has better multimedia controls and it also uses machine learning to “find and recommend the most timely, relevant stories for you based on your individual interests.”
“We have improved our support for multimedia content building on the AMP support we launched earlier this year,” writes Sami Shalabi, head of product and engineering for Play Newsstand. “Scroll through your feed, and you will see autoplay videos, easy podcast controls, and high-resolution, full-bleed images. Every story and topic in Newsstand now comes to life in a more engaging, beautiful presentation.”
Google says Newsstand has more than 100 million monthly users and the new updates for Android and iOS should be available now. You can access the web app here. Unfortunately, the Newsstand web app only works on Google’s Chrome browser.