Apple News is a news aggregator app developed by Apple Inc., for its iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS operating systems. The iOS version was launched with the release of iOS 9. It is the successor to the Newsstand app included in previous versions of iOS. Users can read news articles with it, based on publishers, websites and topics they select, such as technology or politics.
The app was announced at Apple’s WWDC 2015 developer conference. It was released alongside the iOS 9 release on September 16, 2015, for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. At launch, the app was only available to users in the United States, but within a month had become available to users in Australia and the United Kingdom.
It was reported in 2014 that Apple Inc. had acquired the Netherlands-based digital magazine company Prss, developers of an application that simplified the creation of iPad-compatible magazines using a WYSIWYG editor that didn’t require any knowledge of code. Prss was seen as a magazine version of iBooks Author. The idea for Prss came after entrepreneur Michel Elings and longtime travel writer and photographer Jochem Wijnands designed their own iPad publication called TRVL. The Prss invention became what is now ‘Apple News.’
On June 13, 2016, during the keynote address at WWDC 2016, it was revealed that with the forthcoming iOS 10 update the News app would undergo new icon and app redesigns along with an improved For You section organized by topics. Furthermore, it was announced that there would be support for paid subscriptions for certain news sources and publishers as well as an opt-in system for breaking news notifications and email on top news stories.
On June 4, 2018, during the WWDC 2018 keynote address, Apple announced that the Apple News app would be ported to macOS and be available to users in Australia, United Kingdom, and United States starting in macOS 10.14. The app is installed by default in every region but is not made visible to users outside those three regions. Users can still open it using various workarounds.
In February 2019, Digiday reported that publishers are frustrated over the platform’s lack of revenue, despite seeing steady growth in audience over the past year.
In March 2019, Apple added support for Canada, and added a paid subscription version.
In July 2020, Apple added a new Audio tab for US News+ subscribers, as well as support for CarPlay.
The Apple News app works by pulling in news stories from the web through various syndication feeds (Atom and RSS) or from news publishing partners through the JSON descriptive Apple News Format. Any news publisher can submit their content for inclusion in Apple News. Stories added through Safari will be displayed via the in-app web browser included with the app.
News is fetched from publisher’s websites through the AppleBot web crawler bot. The bot fetches feeds, as well as web pages and images for the Apple News service. It has received criticism for being poorly behaved and not being fault tolerant; resulting in high loads on websites.
The Apple News version distributed with iOS 9 made it hard to differentiate traffic originating from within the app from traffic originating from other apps. Apple News version 2, introduced in iOS 10, began identifying itself using its own User-Agent string, making it possible to measure the reach of Apple News using web analytics solutions. Traffic analytics was previously only available to paying publisher partners through iAds.
On March 25, 2019, iOS 12.2 was released with the updated News app that introduced subscriptions through Apple’s “Apple News+” service, which was announced on the same day. The icon for Apple News also changed, putting the N in the icon front and center with a slightly changed design.
On March 25, 2019, Apple announced Apple News+, a subscription-based service allowing access to content from over 300 magazines, as well as selected newspapers. The service was preceded by the digital media subscription app Texture, which Apple acquired in 2018.
The Wall Street Journal, one of the newspapers available through Apple News+, will reconfigure its services to offer more articles for casual readers. It will not actively display business-intensive articles through the Apple platform, though they will still be available by searching through a three-day archive.
On July 15, 2020, Apple announced the addition of audio stories in Apple News+, which allows subscribers to listen to narrated versions of articles in a similar fashion to a podcast under a new Audio tab.
Getting Started as an Apple News Publisher
Before you can publish content to Apple News, you must submit information about your publication and samples of your content to the Apple News team.
Choose the process that works best with your publishing model, your content management system (CMS), and your business:
- Use the Apple News API to deliver and publish Apple News Format articles to News.
- Work with Apple News preferred providers.
- Use a third-party solution from the table below.
|WordPress (plug-in)||Alley Interactive|
|Drupal (plug-in)||Project Ricochet|
|Drupal (plug-in)||Chapter Three|
|Craft CMS (plug-in)||Pixel & Tonic|
|ExpressionEngine (plug-in)||Hop Studios|
Publishing on Apple News
Apple is committed to maintaining a trusted, informative news environment by advancing quality journalism. Apple News is a distribution platform for professional publications of a journalistic nature.
Apple News is not intended for publications that are:
- Not editorial or journalistic in nature
- A personal blog or portfolio
- Based outside countries where Apple News is available (Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States)
- Primarily promoting a business, service, or nonprofit
- Primarily reposting and redistributing others’ content
- Publishing factual inaccuracies or failing to adhere to widely accepted journalistic standards