Google released a personalized, Facebook-like news feed for smartphones this week, but the company is having difficulty rolling it out on devices that run the company’s own Android mobile operating system.
According to Recode, the news feed shows a stream of content based on people’s location, search histories and topics they’ve selected to follow. Traditionally, the search has served users information only when they seek it out.
Yet while the feature is useful — and has the potential for more ad placements in the future — the news feed is part of the Google app, which is accessed as a home screen on many Android devices by swiping right. However, that swipe won’t load this new feature on many Android devices (on iPhones, the Google app is accessed by clicking its icon — there is no swipe needed).
“The rollout to devices where the feed is launched from the home screen will take slightly longer due to technical aspects of the deep integration to the system,” a Google spokesperson said.
The company can’t be happy that this new Facebook-like feature is easier to access on a competitor’s devices than Google’s own phones. And the small slowdown in rollout represents a regular issue for Google. While Android dominates the global cellphone market, running on more than 85 percent of phones worldwide, Google has trouble ensuring updates and the latest features make their way to the majority of devices in a timely fashion because it’s often up to the carriers and manufacturers Google works with to upgrade Android phones’ systems.
Apple, which manufactures all of its own phones, doesn’t have that issue.