Home / Technology / Hands-on with Apple News: Will it kill Flipboard?

Hands-on with Apple News: Will it kill Flipboard?

The initial iOS 9 open beta was expelled on Thursday. We’ve been contrast iOS 9 on a accumulation of inclination though have been spending a lot of time with it on an iPad Air 2.

That’s partially to try out a new split-screen multitasking mode in iOS 9 for iPad — and it’s also to check out a new Apple News app. The News app is accessible on iPhone and iPad, though like Flipboard, it unequivocally shines on a tablet.

See also: iOS 9 competence delayed iPhones by roughly 40% to fist out some-more battery life

As with OS X El Capitan, Apple is treating iOS 9 some-more as a approach to make a existent OS better.

That’s not to contend that there aren’t new facilities — there are — though a large news with iOS 9 is that it will improve battery life, have beter multi-tasking and generally repair bugs and niggles within iOS.

The large disproportion here is with News — Apple’s new Flipboard-esque news companion.

Not reinventing a wheel

Let’s get a few things out of a way. Apple’s News app (say that 3 times fast) is not going to change a approach users get information. On a surface, it’s not demonstrably opposite from Flipboard, Pulse or any of a other several news aggregations apps that have seemed over a final 5 years.

Yes, there are some visible panaches that are opposite — and a human curation bit is unequivocally a good hold — though this is a news app that in a lot of ways is unequivocally identical to a other news apps that already exist.

The difference, of course, is that this news app is always on your homescreen. This news app is from Apple.

Whether that matters or not stays to be seen. And nonetheless News is frequency an strange concept, that doesn’t annul a need to exist. Users increasingly wish to get entrance to what is function on mobile inclination and if a default app can do that in an attractive, easy to use way, hey since not.

Setting adult and removing started


When we open adult a app for a initial time, you’re invited to name news publications and “channels” you’re meddlesome in. This helps emanate a form of endorsed stories and a personalized newspaper.

The knowledge of a setup is identical to other apps such as Flipboard and a glorious Longform app.

Once you’ve left by a initial pieces of a setup experience, you’re met with a series of opposite sections in a app.

The initial is called “For You” and it is unequivocally identical ot a underline of a same name in Apple Music.


The thought is to give a user entrance to stories not only from publications we wish to follow — though also news you’re coming meddlesome in. As with Apple Music, a some-more we use a News app, a improved these recommendations become.

Favorites put your publications in view


The second territory is called “Favorites” and it includes a several news sources and categories we chose during a setup process. Think of this as a approach to simply entrance your favorite news sources during any time.

What we see in any announcement territory mostly depends on a publisher. Some publishers, such as a Condé Nast’s Wired have worked with Apple on optimizing their alighting pages for a Apple News Format and have a alighting page set adult in sections, as it is on a website or in inscription apps.

Other publications — including Mashable — only have a preference of articles accessible that are presented in a stretchable grid format.

At a best, these sections benefaction a unequivocally beautiful, magazine-esque approach to crop a news source. Part iPhone or iPad app, partial mobile-optimized design, this perspective gives news organizations a event to make unequivocally good phone and inscription calm views that aren’t only replications of their mobile web efforts.

The open doubt will be either or not news outlets will wish to take a time to make their articles improved formatted for this option.

Because this is beta program and since publishers are still optimizing how calm is ocular in a News app, a timeliness any essay is depends on a source. We design this will change as a beta evolves.

Explore your options


The “Explore” add-on focuses on finding new publications and several seductiveness channels. You can allow to an seductiveness or announcement or crop by an area for some-more forms of publications,

A categorical channel such as “Technology” competence be orderly by topics, such as “cloud computing,” “wearable technology,” “open source software” and more.

You can also find publications inside any of those sections.

Search and Save

The “Search” and “Saved” tabs are accurately as we would expect. Search lets we demeanour for specific publications, topics or stories. And “Saved” is where we can save articles for offline reading.

The offline reading underline is great, generally for users who frequently wish to evidence adult reading element for a subway. Speaking as one of those users, this is one of a reasons we adore apps such as Instapaper and Longform, and it’s good Apple took this into consideration.

The demeanour and feel

At WWDC 2015, Apple done a large understanding out of a demeanour and feel it was giving to presenting articles in a News app.

It creates sense. The app — even in this beta theatre — is beautiful.


Text flows clean and a app is cleverly laid out. we had a good reading knowledge either we was looking during articles built privately for a Apple News format or not.

There are fundamentally dual ways publishers can get their calm into a News app. First, they can give Apple an RSS feed of their content.

Apple will afterwards arrangement a articles from RSS in a possess formatted reader format. Depending on a parameters of a feed, readers competence see finish articles or be destined to “click here to review a full article” after a RSS excerpt. That’s since some publishers (including Mashable) don’t tell full-text RSS feeds.

The good news is that if we do review one of those articles, clicking on a couple opens adult a full essay within an in-app browser that’s both quick and fluid. In fact, we can mostly perspective a full webpage only by scrolling down.

The knowledge is solid. Obviously Apple would cite news partners offer full RSS feeds, though we have to say, they are operative good with publishers that don’t associate full feeds.

Publishers that wish to pointer adult for a News app can do so here.

The second approach of reading articles in a news app are around publishers that support a arriving Apple News format. Apple hasn’t publicly expelled all a specifics of a format though a already operative with some publishers in this beta to uncover off what a format can do.

Consider it iBooks for news. Content creators can qualification unequivocally pleasing reading use with interactive elements that are, again, same to something we would see in a repository iPad app.

The latest emanate of Wired facilities actress/producer/writer Rashida Jones. Wired used a Apple News format to uncover off some cold interactions and quotes in a article.

Similarly, New York Magazine’s Grub Street precipitated a extraordinary cover story of a history of a hamburger into an extraordinary essay regulating a Apple News Format. The use of embedded video and graphics is unequivocally fantastic.

The best partial of all of this isn’t only that it looks good — nonetheless it does — it’s a speed; a app is impossibly fast. On an iPad Air 2, pages and articles seem to bucket now though lag. Even when going to a website to review a full article, a loiter only isn’t there. Going between a same calm in a web browser on my iPad Air 1 using iOS 8.4 and my 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina, contra a News app using on an iPad Air 2, we was struck by only how many faster a loading knowledge is.

How many of this is due to a JavaScript enhancements with Safari in iOS 9, I’m not sure, though Apple seems to comprehend that for news, people need it fast.

RIP Newsstand

We should note this isn’t accurately Apple’s initial incursion into a news assembly business. In 2011, Apple introduced Newsstand as a approach of holding repository apps and subscriptions in one place.

The thought behind a app was that publishers could always broach a latest book of a announcement to users. This was a good thought in theory, though in use it had some issues.

For one, it buried publisher apps inside this uncanny folder. we allow to about 10 opposite magazines by iOS, in further to The New York Times digital edition. With a disproportion of pop-up alerts revelation me a new book of Bloomberg Businessweek is accessible to read, we mostly remove lane of when a new emanate of a repository is out. I’m not certain if creation all a apps live alone will repair that problem, though it will positively give publishers some-more visibility.

It’s also critical to acknowledge that in a change from Newsstand to News, Apple has left from simply being a place that sells subscriptions to a news platform. Those height aspirations are common by Facebook and Flipboard, too.

Big opportunity, large risk

The News app is still unequivocally many in beta. In my tests, recommendations aren’t utterly there and news publishers still need to figure out a plan around this app. Publishers that select to use a Apple News format have additional promotion options — and those forms of ads could be lucrative, depending on how they are sold.

Fundamentally, we have dual core questions about News. First, does a universe need another news app/news platform? We already have Facebook perplexing to spin a Windows of a Internet. Flipboard has been perplexing (and not unequivocally succeeding) to spin a great-looking app into a business over a final 5 years, and we’ve seen a lot of unequivocally good attempts during aggregating publishers into a pleasing reading knowledge launch and fail, or get acquired and disappear.

Does a universe unequivocally need another try during formulating a ultimate customized newspaper? Do users unequivocally wish that or are they happy going to Facebook or their particular feeds?


I don’t know a answer to that question. we commend since a critical for Apple to have an choice to simply promulgation a users of a height to Facebook, though we don’t know if users are indispensably clamoring for something more.

But putting aside either we unequivocally need another news app, a some-more critical doubt competence be: Will publishers support nonetheless another news platform?

The law is, a online edition business is hard. Traffic mostly comes from third-parties (Facebook and Google) that a publisher can't control and is now coming to live in some-more places than ever. As a writer, we write meaningful many of my difference are review on a tiny screen, though it’s increasingly critical for a destiny of my business to also variegate into video and onto non-traditional platforms such as Vine, Snapchat and Periscope.

So many opposite edition platforms and networks are already opposed for calm creators attentions. Medium, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Flipboard, Tumblr — not to discuss normal RSS — a large doubt we have is will creators dedicate a time to optimize calm for Apple’s News app?

The large publishers — a Condé Nast and New York Times companies of a universe are roughly always peaceful to burst on house to try something new. The same goes for Time Inc. and Hearst. Given a extent of a calm already available, we have to assume Apple has worked with Condé Nast to confederate Apple News Format facilities into a CMS that runs a several publications. I’m certain something identical is in place during The New York Times and The Atlantic.

What is reduction transparent is what Apple will do for smaller publishers. Publishers that competence have lots of readers though don’t have outrageous product teams dedicated to a tradition CMS. Will their be WordPress plugins for edition in a Apple News Format? What will be compulsory of authors to make certain their calm looks good on this app?

These are questions that I’m certain will be answered in time — though to consumers of news and calm creators — are of critical importance. For this app to succeed, Apple will have to do some-more than only get a few large names to pointer adult early. The genuine exam is either those brands hang around in a year and either it is easy for a smaller calm creators to get their things out there too.

If Apple can dedicate to coming news with a same propensity it has approached Apple Music, this could spin a height value watching.

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Article source: http://mashable.com/2015/07/11/apple-news-hands-on/