First up at Apple’s services event is the announcement of a revamped Apple News, imaginatively called… Apple News+ or just News+. The big upgrade? Magazines for mobile devices.
Apple is offering users more than 300 magazines, spanning entertainment, fashion, health, news, politics, and sports. All of the content is curated, of course, and available for a single subscription.
The service will give users magazine-style design, from covers to layout to the table of contents. Users can swipe from article to article or pick a specific article from the contents page. There’s the possibility of interactive content, with Apple showing off an animated National Geographic cover. We’re sure there are many more possibilities that publishers can take advantage of with regards to design looking at the taster Apple offered.
It’s not all about digital versions of print, though. Apple News+ is adding access to new digital subscriptions, as well as several high-end American news publications… specifically the LA Times and The Wall Street Journal. We’ve seen some great inclusions like The New Yorker, but what’s going to be equally interesting is what’s missing… most conspicuous in its absence at first glance? The New York Times. Perhaps Apple will woo/wear down those who hold out… like Spotify did to Metallica. Only time will tell.
What you read remains with you
Curation and news article choices are private, something that Apple’s punting hard. The company says its system has no idea what readers are actually reading or viewing, because News+ can’t see that information. Article selection is mostly done on-device, which means that Apple (and advertisers) can’t track your preferences based on what you’re reading. Take that, Facebook.
What’s the cost? $9.99 per month for everything, with Family Sharing included in a single subscription. It’s available right about… now. If you’re an American or a Canadian, that is. It seems that we’re being overlooked but so are most of the other countries on the planet. The company is planning to roll out to select additional countries later this year (the UK and Australia), so it might be a while before the south end of Africa gets access.