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Google News adds real-time updates, more integration with Google+

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Google is adding a few extra features to Google News, including real-time news pages and discussions powered by Google+.

Google News' US edition now has a realtime mode, meaning that stories will hit your news stream as soon as Google grabs them. The page heavily augments the current "Full Coverage" page with "Realtime Coverage" and "Highly Cited" sections adding the latest updates and most popular sources to each story as soon as they hit. It's also supplemented by discussions, powered by Google+, which pulls in the top posts on each topic giving a sense of what others think. The update also brings larger images to the news stream, which for some stories can be crucial to understanding the news.

The new version is rolling out to all users of the US edition over the next week, though to see discussions you'll need to have enabled Google+ and be signed in to your account. The Google+ integration looks like it will offer the equivalent to Twitter's trending topics direct in your news feed, but whether it's curated to avoid wild rumor and speculation isn't clear.