What originally started as the Bing News and spent a short period of time under the name MSN News, has now been renamed again. This time, to the name it should have had all along; Microsoft News.
After giving the UI and UX of its News app a major overhaul in January of this year (2018), Microsoft made another major move today by renaming the News app to Microsoft News.
The Microsoft News app on Android and iOS have been "completely redesigned into a modern and beautiful experience."
I have always been a big fan of Microsoft's offerings on Android and iOS so it is nice to see Microsoft keeping on top the design of their apps and also catching up with some of the ones that have started to look dated. Now if they could speed up apps like OneNote for Android we'd really be in business!
A few of the main features of the redesign and name change noted by Microsoft in a blog post announcing the changes are:
- New personalization upgrades, including the ability to tailor interests to follow in your news feed – such as World News, Personal Finance, Fitness and many more – and to roam interests across devices and local news options for top cities
- Easy to configure breaking news alerts
- A new dark theme, enabling better night reading
- Simplified access through seamless integration with iOS and Android widgets
- Continuous reading, for a smooth content experience
The personalization features appear to mostly unchanged from the old app and with what is available in the Windows 10 version, but the ability to quickly add or remove a new topic/section is much more user-friendly.
I've seen a lot of comments on the dark theme being such an "amazing" feature. I personally rather a beautiful white theme, much like what we are seeing with Google's suite of apps, most notably the Google News app and Google Podcasts app.
One major thing Microsoft calls out in their announcement is the AI functionality in the backend of Microsoft's news service.
AI is the number one buzzword over the past few years, and shows no sign of slowing. Microsoft has been doubling down putting AI into everything can. Most of this is just machine learning, but nonetheless, it is nice to see Microsoft putting this to use in their applications.
There has been nothing official announced regarding Microsoft's other apps such as MSN Weather, Sports and MSN Money, but I would be inclined to think that over time, these apps will be either updated with the new design and name or possibly rolled into the Microsoft News app.