Go Home Android Discover, You’re Drunk

OK Google: We need to talk. I’ve used and loved Android OS phones for a LONG time now and lately, I really enjoyed the Cards feature in pure Android (Nexus, Pixel, etc). But unfortunately, you changed it to Android Discover and it’s mind-numbingly frustrating and useless now. It used to show reminder cards about upcoming package deliveries, useful news stories and calendar reminders…now it’s almost like it just picks random words from my search history (or any of the other data that I know you have about me) and tries to find the least relevant thing to show me. And can we please PLEASE have a way to turn off “trending” and “local news”??!?

Allow me to explain through a series of screenshots I’ve taken over the last few months.

I don’t speak Spanish

And I’m fairly certain that you would know that, Google. So WHY are you suggesting a post about a Nissan GTR that is very clearly in Spanish? (I mean, I do love the GTR, but still)

Posts from 2 or 3 years ago

Especially ones about computer security (and most things in the technology industry) are completely irrelevant even after 6 months. RFE: Can we please have a way to filter out old posts in the Discover feed?

Just…NO.

I know you know what I do for a living. This is like suggesting “These are the different parts of a car” to an auto mechanic!!! Even though it did not show below this suggestion, NO this card is NOT useful right now. Or ever.

Stop nagging me with the SAME story

This is a big one. The internets are filled with “news outlets” and “journalists” that all cover roughly the same thing. BUT that’s no excuse for trying to suggest the SAME story just from different outlets…not twice, but three times. If I read it once, I’m not going to read it again just because the same story is on a different site with a few different words.

These are NOT the droids you’re looking for

Or the topics that are being suggested, either. I think the AI/ML for suggestions needs a bit more work here, but these things are not the things that they say they are. Even though I enjoy Mythbusters and network switches, I have never once searched for DOTA (or a rack PDU).

Two for the price of one

This example looks a lot like “the same story over and over again” this one is just extra lazy because there are two identical stories that were suggested within a single screen scroll. Come on. (And I also don’t speak Hindi).

Worst example yet

If I search for something with “the” in the query are you going to start suggesting every article that contains “the”??? OK, maybe there was some mention of VMware in the article? Nope. Just a video game script that has ZERO to do with VMware ESX.

I enjoy Google products, I really do. But Android Discover needs some work, or more controls around what is suggested. To be honest, the previous version worked great, so I’m not sure why it needed fixing. If you have any suggestions as to how to improve the cards that show up in discover, please post a comment below.

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