Microsoft, not to be outdone by Google’s recently revamped Google News, today launched a redesigned Microsoft News app for iOS and Android devices. It’s effectively a rebrand of the company’s existing MSN News app.
The highlights include a dark theme, integration with iOS and Android widgets, configurable breaking news alerts, and personalization tools that allow users to follow topics like World News, Fitness, Personal Finance, and more.
“Our mission for more than two decades has been to keep you informed in an easily accessible, comprehensive, and trustworthy way,” Rob Bennett, editor in chief of Microsoft News, wrote in a blog post. “Today, we share the next step in our evolution.”
The Microsoft News app recommends content using a new engine that’s also at the heart of MSN.com and the News app in Windows 10. With the help of artificial intelligence and human editors, it curates articles, videos, and photos across more than a thousand different publishers and 3,000 brands, including USA Today, the New York Times, FOX News, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde, Die Welt, El País, BBC News, and Kyodo News.
Here’s how it works: Each day, publishers send Microsoft’s news team more than 100,000 pieces of content, which a machine learning algorithm scans to determine category, topic type, timeliness, and even potential popularity. The results are then passed along to a team of more than 800 human editors working across 50 locations, including India, Germany, France, Mexico, Canada, and Spain. These editors use additional algorithms to pair appropriate photos with the content.
“Diversity, in our newsroom and in the publishers we partner with, is a key ingredient of the Microsoft News experience,” Bennett wrote. “We carefully compose our pages every day to present multiple sides of a story and consciously curate a wide variety of opinion pieces so that our readers can explore issues via new and different perspectives. With that goal in mind, we’re always assessing our network of partners to ensure that we provide the most diverse, credible, and well-rounded content available.”