Indeed, you can now set proximity alerts, which are basically localized push notifications based on where you currently are. So it moves with you, rather than remaining static based on a pre-designated ‘home’ location. You’ll be asked to enable it when you launch the latest version of the app, but this can be disabled again within the settings.
In terms of what’s classified as ‘nearby’, this will pretty much depend on the nature of the story. It could be as local as your specific neighborhood if it’s a major story, or it could be broadened to cover a post-code, city or country. The announcement says:
“As with all of Breaking News’ alerts, our experienced editors are monitoring social media and vetting each story in real time. Now they’re also deciding which geography — from as narrow as a neighborhood to as wide as a country — that will be receiving a proximity alert.”
Other notable updates include a new design with larger photos, infinite scroll, and a ‘Watch List’ to help you track news around your favorite topics.
While today’s news is all about iOS, the proximity alerts will be arriving in the Android incarnation “soon”, though how soon remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, check out the hilarious Breaking News promo video below, which explains how annoying unwanted alerts can be.