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Apple Launches Audio Stories in Apple News, Adds Local News in Five Regions

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Apr 12, 2001
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As part of the iOS 13.6 and macOS 10.15.6 updates, Apple is introducing new features for Apple News and its Apple News+ subscription service, including audio stories.


Audio stories include audio versions of the best stories from Apple News, a daily audio news briefing created by Apple News editors, and curated local news collections launching in five cities and regions.

Apple News editors plan to release about 20 audio stories per week across a wide range of interests, with the stories narrated by professional voice actors. Apple says we can expect pieces from Esquire, Essence, Fast Company, GQ, New York magazine, Sports Illustrated, TIME, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Wired, and newspapers that include The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

Apple News audio stories are a feature limited to Apple News+ subscribers in the United States, but the daily audio news briefing, called Apple News Today, is free for all Apple News users.

Apple News Today will feature highlights of some of the "most fascinating stories in the news" and will be available Monday through Friday in the Apple News app in the United States and in Apple Podcasts.

Along with audio stories, Apple is adding new local and regional news outlets for readers, including The Charlotte Observer, the Miami Herald, and The News & Observer from Raleigh, North Carolina, plus a curated local news experience available in the Bay Area, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

The curated news feature will include coverage of topics that are important to local communities like dining and restaurants, weather, news and politics, and more.
"Apple News showcases so much great journalism, and we're excited to help bring it to life in new ways with Apple News+ audio stories and a new daily news show, Apple News Today," said Lauren Kern, editor-in-chief of Apple News. "We also greatly value our many local news partners -- our new local news feature highlights their work for readers who live, and are interested, in those communities."
The new Apple News features are available today as part of the free iOS 13.6 update. Audio stories and Apple News Today can be accessed through the new "Audio" tab in the Apple News app. Apple News is free, while Apple News+ costs $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial. Just today, Best Buy began offering a four month free trial for those who are new subscribers and a three month free trial for those who subscribed before.

Article Link: Apple Launches Audio Stories in Apple News, Adds Local News in Five Regions
 
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confirmed

macrumors regular
Dec 30, 2001
145
86
New York, NY
Interesting that this appears to be iPhone only. On iPad (at least within iPadOS 14 Public Beta), the News+ Audio announcement page says "Listen to Apple News+ audio stories on iPhone."

I don't know why they'd keep it limited to mobile.
 
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Ubuntu

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2005
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Interesting that this appears to be iPhone only. On iPad (at least within iPadOS 14 Public Beta), the News+ Audio announcement page says "Listen to Apple News+ audio stories on iPhone."

I don't know why they'd keep it limited to mobile.
It’s more likely the beta, tbh. I recall similar things happening in the past.
 
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confirmed

macrumors regular
Dec 30, 2001
145
86
New York, NY
It’s more likely the beta, tbh. I recall similar things happening in the past.
I see mention of macOS 10.15.6 - is that coming today, too?

10.15.6 just released as well. In the release notes, no mention of News+ Audio, but it does include the Local News updates.

Really does look like Audio is iPhone-only. Strange choice.

I'm also hoping they incorporate News+ Audio into the Apple Watch app.
 
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SoybeanStasher

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2008
170
2
I think this is a neat alternative to podcasting (like audiobooks for articles), but the story listing only has headlines, without a single word describing what the story is about. The only way to see some description is to long press it and choose "Read Story" to be taken to the text version.

Why would I want to listen to a 40 minute Wired story called "A Life Just Out Reach" without knowing anything about it (apparently it's about ALS)?
 
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midkay

macrumors regular
Jan 27, 2008
219
349
Not working in iOS 14 public beta. Really hope the next beta fixes this. Really interested to try it out.
 
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iksretep

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2009
60
19
Los Angeles
I have a love/hate relationship with News/News+, just the same as with the new Music app. Too many "we think you'll be interested in" aka "curated" instead of serving me what I followed or downloaded ... then there are times when I click on a link someone forwards one time, and throw the algorithm off for the next two months I get served with something I might not want to see again. I paid for News+ for over a year and cancelled it, no matter what I did; restricted stories in Today, blocked topics, blocked sources, reset identifier, reset the app, called Apple help ... I can't seem to figure it out.

There are times when I just want to tune things out, not because I'm insensitive, but because I want to focus and relax with what really interests me and lowers my blood pressure. I was hoping for a newsstand replacement where I can have all the magazines/subjects I'm interested in in one spot ... I now would much rather subscribe to individual magazines and call it a day.

Same "rant" applies to the Music app/service, I have the developer beta and iOS13 versions. Listen Now, Browse, and Radio seem to have overlapping content many times unrelated to the music type I listen to or I'm interested in because I clicked on a link someone sent me. Seems the library portion of the app is taking a back seat ... Paying for family Music, but daily I think I might just go back to buying songs and disabling all those other sections ... well anyway just my 2c.

I know in the grand scheme of things the above is very insignificant, and is just a click/tap away from me going elsewhere ... but why did Apple separate iTunes for music, podcasts, news, apps, and now it seems they're slowly merging them back together, with "stories" being everywhere as an example.
 
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MVMNT

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2010
192
138
So how accessible is News for people who can only listen to News?
 
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