Several major news outlets are throwing their hats into the ring with Epic Games and others in pushing back against Apple’s App Store commission.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a trade body that represents the New York Times, Washington Post, WSJ and other publishers has sent a letter to Tim Cook asking for better terms for digital subscriptions sold through the App Store.
Apple News Today, the breezy new podcast showcasing the day’s top news stories, sounds perfectly peppy and polished. Maybe too perfectly polished, in fact — you won’t find a single rough edge on this slickly produced daily news report, which Apple unleashed last week with iOS 13.6. You will endure no energized, partisan rants, either. These straight-down-the-middle reports won’t get your blood boiling while you make your morning coffee or tea. If you’re tired of partisanship, this is the antidote.
What you will find in the weekday audio show is steady promotion of the Apple News app, and of Apple News+, the company’s reportedly struggling subscription news service. This upbeat and earnest free daily news briefing basically functions as a Trojan horse for getting in the ears of potential Apple News+ subscribers.
New York Times articles stopped appearing in the Apple News app on Monday. The newspaper ended its partnership with Apple because the Times wants a more direct connection between itself and its customers.
This is not just about the Apple News+ subscription service. Content from this source no longer appears in the free version either.
Google will pay publishers so it can create “a new news experience launching later this year,” the company said Thursday. While the announcement is vague, Google seems to be putting together a rival for Apple News+, a subscription news-aggregation service for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Stories picked by Apple News’ human editors are far more likely to represent a diverse range of outlets — and be more serious and less focused on celebrities and entertainment — than its algorithmically curated alternative, researchers claim.
Jack Bandy and Nicholas Diakopoulos from Northwestern University analyzed thousands of Apple’s “Top Stories” and “Trending” articles over a 10-month period. They discovered that the latter, which are determined algorithmically, show stories from significantly fewer outlets, predominantly CNN or Fox News. Articles from BuzzFeed and People also figured heavily in the mix — with an emphasis on light news.
It’s now easier to keep track of the latest COVID-19 developments with Apple News. The service on Wednesday added a new coronavirus special coverage section dedicated to providing readers with updates on the outbreak.
Ever since its launch, people have mostly been dismissive about Apple News on iPhone, iPad and Mac. One big reason is the way it interacts with links on the web, boxing users into the News app instead of letting them visit the open web.
For me, that’s actually a pretty desirable thing, because I really like the News app. It’s much cleaner-looking than many ad-bloated websites, and far less emotional and combative than getting your news on social media.
But making the News app show you the things you care about, with less clutter and noise, requires one simple trick.