What you need to know
- As global lockdowns roll to a close, Google News will soon start highlighting information about local lockdown re-opening dates.
- Google will also add a local news carousel in Search for easy access to timely and authoritative news about COVID-19.
- Finally, Assistant users will now be able to verbally request locally relevant news in the U.S. from smart speakers like the Nest Mini.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic ,many states worldwide instituted lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the virus. With months now gone by, local governments are easing these restrictions, but it may be hard to know exactly what's going down and when.
Google is rolling out a new tool in Google News, aimed at helping users learn crucial information regarding the status of local lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in the U.S. and Canada.
Google will also introduce a local news carousel in Search if one makes a COVID-19 related inquiry, highlighting relevant and local information from authoritative sources. It will also enable a similar feature in Assistant, where U.S. users will be able to verbally request local COVID-19 news on Assistant-enabled smart home devices like the Nest Mini. A command like "Hey Google, play news about coronavirus in Boston" will now surface locally relevant news.
The former local news carousel will be made available in 30 countries, while the latter feature is limited to cities in the U.S.
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