Flipboard Founder Claims Apple News is 'a Product Living in the Past'

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Apple's mobile news platform has been accused of "living in the past" by the co-founder and head of rival news curation service Flipboard. The comments were made at Tuesday's Code Media event in California, where Flipboard CEO Mike McCue participated in an onstage Q&A regarding the future of content curation in the digital mobile space.

Now in its eighth year, the Flipboard iOS app organizes online articles into a more conducive reading format for mobile devices, and reaches around 100 million users a month. Comparatively, major rival Apple News - which Apple began shipping with iOS 9 - has at least 70 million monthly users.


"When you're an entrepreneur and you're competing with Apple, that's a pretty big deal," said McCue. "They're a partner and a competitor at the same time." McCue then went on to criticize Apple's mobile news platform for its lack of human curation.
"Apple News as a product is living in the past. There's no social sharing capability, no curation happening -- it's algorithmic," McCue said, adding: "It's another format that publishers have to adopt."
McCue also picked holes in Apple's walled garden approach to online content, comparing Flipboard's ad-friendly platform to Apple News's "closed ecosystem", which McCue called "a big deal for publishers". The suggestion here is that Flipboard benefits publishers by regularly redirecting readers to the publisher's site, where more ads are shown, whereas Apple News keeps users within the app's native display format with its attendant ad restrictions.

Despite the latter approach, Apple News does offer a built-in advertising platform that allows publishers to earn 100 percent of the revenue from the content they publish, or 70 percent of revenue from iAds inventory sold by Apple. The Apple News Format also lets publishers create custom editorial layouts geared towards their individual brands, allowing content to be viewed by millions of iPhone and iPad users in the way the publishers intended.

Article Link: Flipboard Founder Claims Apple News is 'a Product Living in the Past'
 

LittleChief

macrumors member
Dec 7, 2009
36
25
UK
I'd say they're absolutely right on this one. Apple are using a dated, old media approach and as mentioned locking publishers in to a native platform experience without the control and monetisation required to keep their business (& good journalism) afloat.

Apple need to get better at this stuff if they want to compete, same goes for Spotify support on HomePod. If 9 out of 10 products make it easy to use a raft of services including Spotify on their devices and you are the odd one out then it's going to cause some friction and is ultimately a poor user experience.

Again, same thing happened with Apple TV for far too long. The UK have 4 or 5 major channels and they were all absent from the platform for years (up until late 2017) and that allowed Fire TV, Chromecast and all these other 'Smart' products to get a substantial foot up.

If you're going to launch a product like HomePod, ATV or Apple News you have to have strong support on the back end from developers, publishers and content creators (with the options to monetise their work) otherwise you're going to face a serious uphill battle.
 

Keane16

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2007
803
666
I used to love Flipboard when they first launched but they changed and a few updates later really didn't like it. And haven't used it or had it installed since.

Big fan of Apple News though, hope they bring it to the Mac.

no curation happening -- it's algorithmic," McCue said
The Spotlight tab is a curated section "From the Apple News Editors":
Spotlight
In the new Spotlight tab, Apple News editors will go deep on a topic that’s of interest at the moment, curating the best stories from sources you can trust. Spotlight is updated often, so check back regularly.
https://www.apple.com/uk/news/
 

Aluminum213

macrumors 68040
Mar 16, 2012
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Wait a minute, are you telling me people actually use the terrible app and service that is known as Apple news? I don’t believe anyone would actually use it
 

Farmerp2005

macrumors newbie
Apr 22, 2015
22
21
West London
I just wish Apple news wouldn't be so slow on my iPad air. No idea why it is now running so slow, but think it's Ad related (2 sites in particular are horrendously slow).

Would like to see it on the mac as well. Maybe it will be one of these cross platform apps in the next OS release.
 

Scottsoapbox

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2014
851
3,018
How many of those 70 million people even realize they are using Apple News?

The power of the platform + non technical people with smartphones.
 
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jarman92

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2014
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next months news article - Apple copies flipboard and then bans their app from the store.
They’ve literally never done that.
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Flipboard was great 3 or 4 version ago. Current version is complete garbage and a ****ing maze.
Agreed. I used to use it all day every day until one of their updates; then I t was just filled with garbage blog posts and crazy fringe websites.
[doublepost=1518615689][/doublepost]
Wait a minute, are you telling me people actually use the terrible app and service that is known as Apple news? I don’t believe anyone would actually use it
...is this sarcasm? I use it every single day, and most iPhone users I know personally and see around use it.
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
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I use Flipboard and Apple News. Once I can view Apple News on my MAC I will move on from Flipboard.
 
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duervo

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Feb 5, 2011
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Now in its eighth year, the Flipboard iOS app organizes online articles into a more conducive reading format for mobile devices, and reaches around 100 million users a month. Comparatively, major rival Apple News - which Apple began shipping with iOS 9 - has at least 70 million monthly users.
Within the context of this article, this statement implies that this is because Apple News comparatively sucks.

What it fails to point out is that this difference in audience numbers is, in no small part, influenced by the fact that Apple News is not available in as many countries as Flipboard. So, it sort of seems like “cherry picking” stats to support Flipboard’s view. Also, this would suggest that Apple isn’t putting their full effort into actually competing with Flipboard, which begs the question, “Why is Flipboard going out of their way to denigrate Apple News?”
 
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jedwards87

Suspended
May 21, 2015
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In the past or not I prefer Apple News over Flipboard which I have tried several times now. The only thing I miss with Apple News is not having a MacOS version. Don't care about a social aspect or lack of. I want to read the news and then share it, which Apple News does just fine, if I feel like it. But good to have choices.
 
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BJMRamage

macrumors 68020
Oct 2, 2007
2,433
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I tried Apple News but didn't like it and reverted back to Flipboard.

Clipboard has a bunch of ads and double posts or stories that do not even closely align with the category but I still use it...just not as much and mores than AppleNews