Newsstand is one of the younger apps in Google's portfolio, but today it's getting a significant update to version 3.1. The biggest change - and a welcome one for at-a-glance newshounds - is a brand-spanking new widget. It's a pretty basic 4X3 affair - the widget will display a single story at a time, complete with headline and embedded image. Tap the arrow button to advance to the next headline, or anywhere else to go directly to the story in Newsstand.

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Inside the app itself, you'll find that the interface has been given a little spit and polish, including the new standard slide-out menu design, which is where the primary link to the Settings page and the Help menu are now hiding. The drop-down menu in the action bar (top right corner) still holds the refresh button and "on device only" view, but you also have a new option for "Mini cards."

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Mini cards is pretty self-explanatory - it compresses the larger article previews down to a one- or two-line headline and a much smaller thumbnail, giving the app a look more like a mobile-optimized website. Category cards are slightly larger, with a small banner and two links, and some image-heavy articles may get an automatic expanded view. This option lets you skim through articles much faster, and it should be helpful for phones with smaller screens.

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Users can now automatically translate entire feeds or single stories. Strangely, this isn't available everywhere - you can translate a single source's feed from any Google Translate language to any other, or translate a single story in the feed, but trying to do so after clicking a generic story on the primary page won't work. It's a useful feature to be sure, but it would be a lot more useful for the general browsing mode.

Download

The APK below is signed by Google and will upgrade your existing app. Its cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and wasn't tampered with in any way.

File Name: com.google.android.apps.magazines-3.1.0.apk

File Size: 6.7MB

Version: 3.1.0

MD5: 5e31a2f80347a7c849dcaebf115bf5ad

Thanks Chad and Santiago Rosales!