Apple makes Apple News tools open to all

Apple News looking lovely on the iPhone

Some big news hitting about Apple News — the news reading app that ships with all iOS devices. The Washington Post:

Just to be clear — anyone can sign up and publish to Apple News, and have been since the start. Here’s One Man & His Blog on there, for example . This new move brings us the the ability to publish using the richer Apple News Format stories, though — and access to advertising tools with it. Up until now, only Apple partners have had that level of access — the rest of us have just been pushing RSS feeds into the system.

Big publisher privilege is on the clock

Like Facebook Instant Articles, we’ve had a period of time where the big publishers have had an advantage, but now the playing field suddenly gets more open. Privileged access is clearly a time-limited deal. And it doesn’t look like it’ll be too complicated a process — you can build Apple News Format stories direct in Apple’s interface, or push them from your own CMS. There’s a WordPress plugin for Apple News Format already.

Waiting for Apple to let me get my JSON on…

Advertising (Apple) News

But that’s not all — Apple is starting pushing News harder with an advertising campaign:

And they look like this:

Not the image I immediatly associate with sports news — and that’s good.

Apple’s clearly taking its time on this product — iterating it, feeling its way into how it should work, and then ramping up the focus on it. But hey, at least it’s seeing development — unlike its previous effort Newsstand, which launched, and then languished. The interesting piece is that Apple News feels much more than Newsstand ever did — that was very much a print replication, shovelware sort of concept. Apple News feels very natural on iPhones — and iPads in particular.

You’ll need iOS 9.3 Beta for this look.

And other information is dribbling out — like the news about a sponsored article format.

Apple News certainly doesn’t feel like a “must publish” platform just yet — but it sure as hell feels like something any publisher should be watching carefully.

Blogging since 2001, journalisting (which isn’t a word, but should be) since 1994, and sleep-deprived since 2012. Journalism lecturer, consultant and trainer.

Blogging since 2001, journalisting (which isn’t a word, but should be) since 1994, and sleep-deprived since 2012. Journalism lecturer, consultant and trainer.