Apple has launched its News app in Europe, bringing the service to millions of iPad and iPhone users through its iOS 9.1 update.
The app launches with 14 partners, according to The Guardian, which includes the BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sun, and Sky News, among others. Magazine publishers are also onboard with titles including Top Gear, Vanity Fair, the Radio Times, and Cosmopolitan.
“Apple News collects all the stories you want to read, from top news sources, based on topics you’re most interested in — so you no longer need to move from app to app to stay informed,” an Apple spokesperson said.
The interface of the app is very simple, with articles formatted to work with the iPhone or iPad screen. Just like Facebook’s “Instant Articles,” there are very few adverts and content loads quickly.
Apple News is made up of four different sections: For You (a collection of articles the News app thinks you will like); Favourites (a list of publications that you have chosen); Explore (other outlets that you haven’t chosen); and Saved (a repository for all your saved articles).
Clicking on an individual publisher, such as Business Insider, loads a list of articles and sub-sections (such as Tech, Finance, and so on) that can be scrolled and read. Articles are neatly formatted, stripping out any superfluous content and code to focus on the text and photos.
Apple News comes at a time when publishers are concerned about ceding power to larger organisations who control the distribution of content. Big tech companies, such as Apple, Facebook, and Google, are all moving in to help publishers reach a larger audience which, in turn, creates a dependency.
The rise of adblocking, helped along by Apple, has done nothing to appease publishers as many users can now view content without making a “transaction” — viewing ads.
With Apple News, publishers earn 100% of the revenue from the ads they sell, and 70% of the revenue from ads Apple sells for them.