Report: Google tests local news card to keep you updated on what's happening nearby

Google Now’s contextually aware Cards are incredibly handy in a pinch. Whether you need transit directions, an at-a-glance look at the traffic flow, or the game scores from your favorite team, cards make all of that information readily available without you having to actually fetch it.

And while the service currently delivers headlines on your most recently queried Google searches, it doesn’t do so for local news.

[Google Now Card List]

But that may change, if a recent report from Quartz rings true. Google Now may soon be able to grab local news headlines based on your current location, beyond items such as local happenings and museum exhibits.

“One thing we’re testing right now is a very local hyper-local news card,” Johanna Wright, vice president of search and assist at Google, told Quartz. The Card will display news aggregated from various sources that is related to a user’s specific area. “I found out Miss Mexico came to my son’s school, I saw that [the local] Chipotle was giving out burritos, and someone was stabbed in the park near my house. It’s very, very targeted to you and your interests.”

Coming soon?

Google has made no information available on when it will actually roll out the functionality, but it’s safe to say that with beta testing currently in place among Google employees, it’s coming soon.

However, the bigger question still stands: how exactly will the search giant implement such a feature? Will it pull news from sites like AOL’s dying locally-sourced news site, Patch.com, or will it simply deliver the headlines based on search terms related to a specific area?

Regardless, the functionality could end up being a boon for finding local news, which tends to have a hard time in the latest shift to online-only headlines.

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