September 16, 2015
Apple News is a mobile app and news aggregator developed by Apple Inc., for its iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS 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 CNN, technology or politics.
The app was first announced at Apple's 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference. It was released with iOS 9 for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad on September 16, 2015. At launch, the app was only available to users in the United States, became available to users in Australia and the United Kingdom within a month.
It was reported in 2014 that Apple 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.'
During the keynote address at the 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference, it was revealed that with the forthcoming iOS 10 update the News app will 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.
During the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference, 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 (Mojave). 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.
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, and users can add any feed through the Safari web browser. 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 difficult 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+, reconfigured its services to offer more articles for casual readers. It does not actively display business-intensive articles through the Apple platform, though they are still available by searching through a three-day archive.
- Apple unveils News app, with New York Times, ESPN and other big publishers on board - GeekWire (en).
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- Max Willens (February 25, 2019). 'Hard to back out': Publishers grow frustrated by the lack of revenue from Apple News.
- About iOS 12 Updates (en). “Apple News is now available in Canada, with a free experience that includes handpicked Top Stories, a personalized Today feed, and support for both English and French”
- RSS Content.
- Apple News Format workflow.
- About Applebot (en).
- Attack of the AppleNewsBot (July 5, 2016).
- Apple News app getting its own User-Agent for analytics in iOS 10 (July 13, 2016).
- You Need to Update to iOS 12.2 Right Now to Fix More Than 50 Security Holes Gizmodo Retrieved March 26, 2019
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- Goode, Lauren. "Apple Launches Apple News+ Paid Subscription Service", Wired, 2019-03-25.
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- "Apple confirms Apple One subscription bundle, bringing together Music, TV Plus, Arcade, and more", The Verge, September 15, 2020. (in en)