Google releases News & Weather app for iOS

Google has ported over its news and weather app from Android to the iOS world.

Released on Tuesday for Apple’s iOS operating system, the app dubbed simply Google News & Weather displays the current weather and latest general news headlines on its home screen. From there, you can scroll down the screen to see a selection of headlines across different topics, such as World News, Business, Technology, Entertainment, Sports and Health.

Tapping the Weather panel at the top of the screen gives you more details on the projected temperatures and forecast for today and the next few days. Tapping a news headline opens a separate screen where you can read the full story from its original source. Simply tap a left arrow to return to the headline page, where you can swipe down so that the latest news headlines appear at the top of the page.

You can also tap the Headlines link at the top of the screen to quickly see a list of all covered topics. Then simply tap the topic that interests you to move directly to its headlines.

Google says the app already provides news coverage from 65,000 different publications. But if the existing lineup of stories aren’t enough reading to keep you busy, you can easily add more sources. Tapping a plus button allows you to add a specific topic to the coverage. For example, if you want to stay current on news about Apple’s new iPhone 6, you can type “iPhone 6” in the text field. The app will show you the latest stories on the new iPhone and create a new topic that you can view at any time.

You can also add a location if you want to pick up news and weather for specific areas. For example, let’s say you’re taking a trip to Paris in a few days and want to check things out ahead of time. Type “Paris” in the text field, and the app will display the weather forecast and latest stories related to Paris.

After you return home from your Paris trip, you may no longer be interested in the weather or news over there. In that case, you can easily remove that section or any other section from the list of headlines. You can also change the order of your sections in the Manage Sections screen by simply dragging and dropping any single one to a different location.

There’s even more you can do to customize Google News & Weather. Google has designed the app, which was previously only available for its Android operating system, with 60 different country-specific editions in mind. If you want to learn what’s happening in Australia, Italy, the UK, China, Japan or a number of other regions, you can change your default to that area. Each region-specific section appears in its own native language, though, so you’ll have to understand the language in order to read the stories.

You can also change or add locations for the weather if you want to see the forecasts for areas beyond your own town, and switch the screen between a light and dark background. You can even hide the images that appear as part of the headlines if you’re on a slow connection and simply want to see the text.

Yahoo, Microsoft and plenty of other companies provide their own news apps for iOS and other mobile platforms. But with Google News & Weather, the search giant has fashioned a nicely-designed program that’s easy to use and simple to customize. This is one app that I’ll be sure to check in with on a regular basis.

The app is also available at Google Play for Android users.