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MacRumors

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Apple released the third beta of iOS 9 to developers this morning, bringing some significant changes to the operating system, including the new Apple News app.

First introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, "News" provides curated lists of personalized news content for iOS users, offering up content from popular websites and newspapers and displaying it in an iOS-friendly layout. We went hands-on with News to give our readers a detailed walkthrough of the app and the different features that it offers.


News is built around topics and channels that are selected by each individual user, which are then used to populate an individualized "For You" tab that displays a list of stories each day. There's a Favorites section that display the sites you've added to a favorites list for quick browsing, a search feature for finding new content, and an Explore tab for casual browsing. Explore suggests topics or channels you might be interested based on what you've previously read.

If you come across a favorite story, you can add it to the "Saved" section in News, and you're able to share stories with friends by using the Share Sheet when reading content. In Safari, there's also a feature that will let you add any RSS feed to News by visiting a site and choosing "Add to News."

News includes more than a million topics, and as you read more stories, the app will get better at offering content that might interest you. Media content like photos and videos can be displayed full screen and there are features like built-in audio and photo galleries.

News is only available in iOS 9 beta 3, which is limited to registered developers. Public beta testers will likely get access to News in the near future when the first public beta test is released, and the general public will be able to access the app when iOS 9 launches in the fall.

Article Link: Hands-On With Apple's 'News' App Introduced in iOS 9 Beta 3
 

Goldfrapp

macrumors 603
Jul 31, 2005
5,375
9,646
US&A
How come MacRumors is not on it? BGR is.

There needs to be a way to tell which articles have been read and which haven't. Then I can ditch Feedly completely.

Oh and while you're at it, Apple, let users add RSS feeds.

Other than that, the app is gorgeous and a pleasure to use.
 
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CBJammin103

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2007
233
56
Louisiana, United States
Is it just me or is there no cross-device syncing (over iCloud or otherwise) of subscriptions, marked-as-reads, etc? If so, this is a deal-breaker for me... but I'm hoping iCloud will handle this by the public 9.0 release.

Furthermore, the inexplicable prescence of Buzzfeed Life (anyone know how to get rid of this...?) and a few other garbage sources are making this a tough sell for me. I want to love this app but it's not quite there yet.
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,550
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Is it just me or is here no cross-device syncing (over iCloud or otherwise) of subscriptions, marked-as-reads, etc? If so, this problem is a deal-breaker for me... but I'm hoping it will be implemented by the public 9.0 release.

Furthermore, the inexplicable prescence of Buzzfeed Life (anyone know how to get rid of this...?) and a few other garbage sources are making this a tough sell for me. I want to love this app but it's not quite there yet.


I don't see this either. It's silly not to have this support and take advantage of CloudKit they've worked hard on for Notes.

I've filed a bug report to get this added because I'm currently thinking it is as a bug.
 
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nathanalf

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2014
164
40
Wisconsin
I don't see this either. It's silly not to have this support and take advantage of CloudKit they've worked hard on for Notes.

I've filed a bug report to get this added because I'm currently thinking it is as a bug.

Syncing can seemingly be turned on here: Settings > iCloud > News

Doesn't seem to be working yet though (have sources on iPhone, flipped News tab on for iPhone and iPad, and iPad shows no articles/sources added)
 
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mwhetnall

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2015
36
12
How come MacRumors is not on it? BGR is.

There needs to be a way to tell which articles have been read and which haven't. Then I can ditch Feedly completely.

Oh and while you're at it, Apple, let users add RSS feeds.

Other than that, the app is gorgeous and a pleasure to use.
Took me a bit to find it but it's there, although it's pulling 6 day old stories at the moment (I'm waiting for all these sites to update new stories at the moment).
 

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MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
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Syncing can seemingly be turned on here: Settings > iCloud > News

Doesn't seem to be working yet though (have sources on iPhone, flipped News tab on for iPhone and iPad, and iPad shows no articles/sources added)

Weird that it is in Settings > iCloud, not Settings > News and also not turned on by default.

Thanks, I'll let them know in the bug report that I've tried this.
 

prasand

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2015
524
349
UES, New York
Needs a desktop app

I agree. Either that or the ability to browse your news from the web.

I've become quite accustomed to using Flipboard's website from my laptop. Already I like the content of Apple News better than Flipboard, but until Apple allows the ability to view on a desktop I won't fully drop Flipboard. Even now, I'm adding Flipboard's RSS feeds to Apple News. So I can use one app on my phone, since Apple News has things Flipboard doesn't and vice-versa. But Apple needs a better way for publishers to add their articles to specific topics. Because even MacRumors is not in the topics it should be in. Publishers should be able to define the topics of a particular feed within the iCloud Publisher section. They'll probably come up with a solution for this, but there's a lot missing. Even the documentation is incomplete, because they are actively building it out. We're a few months away from it being available to the public, so I'm sure they'll make significant strides before then.

But a great feature would be, the ability to add / group multiple "Channels" ... into custom "Topics"

If users are able to read all related news under topics they define, then concerns like "MacRumors not being in the Apple Inc." topic would be moot (Apple should still fix this mind you, because it's silly that Apple Insider and the other blogs are in it, all except MacRumors). With the ability to create our own topics, we could add the MacRumors channel to the topic we create. Such a feature would also mitigate the fact that Flipboard has more polished topics, and topics that Apple News doesn't have (for example: Luxury Lifestyle, topic which is a very popular / big topic, doesn't exist in an appropriate capacity in Apple News (try searching for Luxury, and you'll see it's fragmented, and / or has topics which are barely populated or infrequently updated), that would bar many from switching (such matters are why I have to add Flipboard's RSS to Apple News, because it doesn't have something like: "Playstation Player", nor an adequate gamer topic. The Gamer topic is actually just the Dualshockers website, and there's no way to appropriately see the gamer news from various sources at once)).

Apple News needs a lot of work, but again, I'm sure they'll make significant strides before the public release, and I'll be happy to drop Flipboard in a heartbeat (if there's desktop browsing, lol). I'm sure many would.
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,550
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It really is nice to be able to PIP a video while you read the article.

Unfortunately, no "Reader" mode for the embedded web views.
 
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MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
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I agree. Either that or the ability to browse your news from the web.

I've become quite accustomed to using Flipboard's website from my laptop. Already I like the content of Apple News better than Flipboard, but until Apple allows the ability to view on a desktop I won't fully drop Flipboard. Even now, I'm adding Flipboard's RSS feeds to Apple News. So I can use one app on my phone, since Apple News has things Flipboard doesn't and vice-versa. But Apple needs a better way for publishers to add their articles to specific topics. Because even MacRumors is not in the topics it should be in. Publishers should be able to define the topics of a particular feed within the iCloud Publisher section. They'll probably come up with a solution for this, but there's a lot missing. Even the documentation is incomplete, because they are actively building it out. We're a few months away from it being available to the public, so I'm sure they'll make significant strides before then.

But a great feature would be, the ability to add / group multiple "Channels" ... into custom "Topics"

If users are able to read all related news under topics they define, then concerns like "MacRumors not being in the Apple Inc." topic would be moot (Apple should still fix this mind you, because it's silly that Apple Insider and the other blogs are in it, all except MacRumors). With the ability to create our own topics, we could add the MacRumors channel to the topic we create. Such a feature would also mitigate the fact that Flipboard has more polished topics, and topics that Apple News doesn't have (for example: Luxury Lifestyle, topic which is a very popular / big topic, doesn't exist in an appropriate capacity in Apple News (try searching for Luxury, and you'll see it's fragmented, and / or has topics which are barely populated or infrequently updated), that would bar many from switching (such matters are why I have to add Flipboard's RSS to Apple News, because it doesn't have something like: "Playstation Player", nor an adequate gamer topic. The Gamer topic is actually just the Dualshockers website, and there's no way to appropriately see the gamer news from various sources at once)).

Apple News needs a lot of work, but again, I'm sure they'll make significant strides before the public release, and I'll be happy to drop Flipboard in a heartbeat (if there's desktop browsing, lol). I'm sure many would.

I actually think this is why Apple started to expand CloudKit services to be available via the web later this year. I think we're going to see more web-based services coming from Apple soon as they build CloudKit up. Look at Notes.app as their first experiment on iCloud.com and I hope News will be next in the future.
 

boston04and07

macrumors 68000
May 13, 2008
1,599
580
Needs a desktop app

Totally agree. I sort think (hope?) this could be following a similar development path as apps like iBooks and Maps that started out on iOS and then made their way to OS X before long. Something like this, that could so easily translate to the desktop, would be silly to leave out, IMO. Wouldn't be surprised if we saw this on OS X in a year or so.
 
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MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,550
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Hmm, I wonder if Apple is just going to replace Shared Links/Reading List in Safari with News tabs instead. I don't see the point of having these when you have News.app.
 

autrefois

macrumors 65816
The words "curated news" make me nervous.

I like going to a web site, reading a magazine or newspaper, - seeing everything - and making my own decisions on what to read.

I agree. This is a growing problem, in my opinion. One of the biggest advantages (and most important roles) of traditional media is that you're getting a wide variety of information about different topics.

More and more over the past 10 years or so, apps/sites are either choosing for you what they think you want to read, pushing what they want you to read, or letting you personalize things so much that you could become completely shut off from new things that might be interesting or important for you to read.

I'm not just talking about the headlines of current events that people should generally be aware of to be informed about what's going on in the world, but also feature stories about subjects you may never have even heard of before and wouldn't show up as something you like based on previous reading data, but which you might find interesting/funny/cool if you saw the headline or the photo for it.

Sure, the answer to this is to go buy a newspaper or or an online subscriptions to one. But these cost money (and they should) and people are getting more and more used to the idea of things being free or free with ads.

Apple News and similar programs have a lot more potential because they draw from so many more sources. Part of it will depend on what sources you tell Apple News to draw from and what you end up reading. But over time, based on the description at least, if you just read what is put front and center to you in the app, you will be exposed even less to a wide variety of news and more to the narrow range of stories the app deems to be related to your previous reading patterns.
 
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