Apple News just got a lot friendlier for publishers

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Will you give it another shot?
Photo: Apple

Apple today made a number of changes to Apple News that make the platform much more friendly for content publishers — especially those who are only just signing up. The company now allows all channels to use custom graphics, and allows old stories to be added seamlessly.

Apple News is a nice idea, and as we discussed on the latest CultCast, it’s a great do-it-all news app for those who want something simple. But it hasn’t been without its teething troubles, some of which have pushed a good number of users and publishers away.

Apple hasn’t ignored those problems, though, and it has rolled out various updates to make News better. Its latest will be welcomed with open arms by content creators, who should find News a friendlier platform today.

Under the new Apple News Format, any channel can have a custom graphic. Until now, you need to be a selected partner to do this, which means lots of channels appeared with recent images from their latest articles by default.

Apple has also made it possible to insert old stories using a new “datePublished” property in metadata, which prevents them from appearing as fresh articles. This should prevent the confusion that could occur when readers saw older content ahead of more recent news.

Publishers can also use remote images embedded with HTTP or HTTPS links now.

It’s seems unlikely Apple will have any major changes for News up its sleeve for WWDC next month, but so long as it continues to make steady improvements to the platform, those who are using it regularly should be happy.