This should be fun! Here's a really early peak at Google's latest content push: it's called "Google Play News," and these bits of News come in "Issues" and "Subscriptions," so we're guessing Google's getting into the newspaper business. "Play News" will be a new, "colored" Play Store section to go along with Apps, Music, Books, Magazines, Movies, and Devices.

Our smoking gun in this case was this piece of JavaScript, (mirror) from the web version of the Play Store. It's a little hard to read, but you should be able to control+f your way to interesting bits of text like this:

To read Google Play News, you must have a supported Android phone or tablet

Please sign in to get this News edition.

Please sign in to purchase this News Issue.

Please sign in to purchase this News Edition Subscription.

Subscribing you to this news edition...

You have subscribed to this news edition. It is now available on your device.

So, first, the obvious stuff, you'll be able to buy a single newspaper issue or have a recurring subscription. If you dig through the js file you'll see that most of this text is directly next to identical text for the Magazine section, which suggests the two will be closely related. I'm not sure what the difference is between "News Issue" or "News Edition," maybe Google isn't sure what it wants to call a single issue yet. They also need to fix their capitalization, they keep switching between "News" and "news."

The "supported Android phone or tablet" text links to http://support.google.com/?hl=en&p=news_androidapp, which is a support redirect that currently doesn't work. (See http://support.google.com/mobile/?p=magazines_androidapp for a working version.)

As I'm sure you know, the Play Store is color themed - Books are blue, Music is orange, etc. So the most important question a discovery like this raises is "What color will the News section be?" It turns out we can actually answer this one thanks to the Play Store CSS (mirror):


It's yellow. The News section will be yellow.

For those who don't know what they're looking at, this section of the CSS has a hex triplet (the "#xxxxxx" things) for each section of the Play Store. The hex triplet is used to describe a color to the browser, which I've translated into "human" after each line. The other names and colors line up perfectly (Music is orange, Books is blue, etc.), so it's safe to assume the News section will be yellow.

Unfortunately, I don't have any icons for you, right now Google is just using the Magazine icons as a placeholder.

Needless to say, APK Teardown is now on high alert for the next few versions of the Android Play Store. It looks like we have the first of our Google I/O spoilers this year. We'll keep our eyes peeled for more.

Thanks for the tip, Anon! You rock!

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    I wonder if it'll be one of those "US-only" things that us "Rest of the world" folk only get to hear about. :-/

    • lbrfabio

      Why bother wondering, you know it will be this way :-P

      • makapav

        Guys, stop victimizing yourself and get TunnelBear VPN for your PC to install apps and services that are geofenced.

  • Aaron Jaeger

    I picked up a newspaper today and was thinking, "Why can't I get a digital version from Google Play?" Bam! Google wins again.

  • RedPandaAlex

    You know, it's a little unsettling seeing this leak the same week we hear about Reader's demise.

  • Snowleopard

    Explains why Reader got killed.

    • https://plus.google.com/116879163037230501137/posts Cullen Maglothin

      This, in conjunction with Currents, I would think.

  • Evan

    Smart... Kill gReader then bring their own news delivery service with subscriptions.

    Why compete with themselves, right?

  • Christopher Robert

    if this is the real reason they are killing READER i am gonna be PISSED!

  • http://twitter.com/deezil Daniel A. Williams

    Yellow journalism. Clever color choice.

  • Joshua Talley

    In -before- after Yellow Journalism.

    Bah. If only my authentication would have worked the first time!

    • NexusKoolaid

      A lot of people who tried to get Google IO tickets said the same thing :/

  • RedPandaAlex

    Kind of curious if this is going to integrate into or take over Currents, which presently has no monatization. I wouldn't be opposed to paid subscriptions there or in a similar format provided 1) they were really cheap (1-5 dollars a month) and 2) everything that was paid had a high degree of optimization for Currents.

  • heat361

    So they killed Google reader for this, let's see how this turns out.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    What makes you guys think this is a Google Reader replacement? Web sites don't come in "Issues" and "Editions" that you purchase. This is for old-school, paper newspapers.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1244276178 Steve Hopper Jr.

      My guess is that Currents will be the Reader for these newspapers because when you look at the subscriptions for feeds in Currents, currently (no pun intended) they say "add for free". It just makes it very natural for the subscription prices to be put in that box instead of what is there now. If I had my N7 with me, I'd screenshot it for better reference.

      • Ryggore Mettane

        Then Google will port Currents to Chrome using Native Client.

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      Is it possible this will tie into Currents?

  • Floris

    Am I the only one who gets really excited whenever Google launches a new service, whatever it's function is?

  • Maff Mace

    we've just released digital versions of 18 of our papers as an app, it took ages to get it sorted, wonder if that was all a waste now?!

  • Ryggore Mettane

    Google Play News with Glass

    "Because Glass is a new and unique form factor, Jordan also noted, Google
    is setting a few rules for Glass apps. They shouldn’t,
    show full news stories but only headlines, as everything else would be
    too distracting. For longer stories, developers can always just use
    Glass to read text to users." - via TechCrunch

  • Matthew Fry

    I don't read newspapers. I'm not going to start.

  • JG

    For those of you who don't know/remember what a newspaper is, to quote Craig Ferguson: "A newspaper is something that people use to read; a big papery blog that had all of yesterday's news inside it." (from his 5 December, 2012 episode's opening monologue while talking about the repeal of prohibition)...

  • Bob G

    I don't see how this will be successful after the digital newspaper from NewsCorp. on iOS failed. Mobile users just don't read papers enough to warrant success.

  • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

    I love hearing about things like this. I can only imagine how awesome reading a newspaper on the n10 is going to be.

  • mldi

    How does Google Reader relate to this?

    It doesn't. Reader is an RSS reader. GNews will be newspapers AKA the other half of their Kindle and Newstand competitor.

    The two are unrelated, and Currents is also unrelated to Newspaper subscriptions.

  • Ruru

    Excellent Nancy Drew work guys!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667020551 Jose Torres

    I prefer the "Paperboy" game instead.

  • http://profiles.google.com/janniklindquist Jannik Lindquist

    Ron, could "News edition" indicate you we will be able to buy editions to add to Google News? As you know, entities in Google News are called "editions"