News+ missed opportunity

Most of what Apple talked about today isn’t shipping until the summer or fall. Apple News+ does ship today with iOS 12.2. It’s priced at $10/month for access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers. As I posted about briefly, I’ll stick with paying The New York Times directly for now.

Michael Tsai writes about the larger issue with Apple News:

I continue to find Apple News to be disappointing. It’s like Apple reinvented the RSS reader with less privacy (everything goes through an Apple tracking URL) and a worse user experience (less control over fonts, text that isn’t selectable, no searching within or across stories). So the idea of content that must be accessed from the app—and likely can’t even be opened in Safari—is not attractive to me.

I think there’s great potential for Apple News on the curation side, but the articles are too stuck inside Apple’s apps, and the cost to publishers is too high. You can tell Apple feels like they’re onto something important with Apple News. My concern is that Apple’s solution is based so heavily on what they know how to do well — let’s make everything a native app with a nice UI and leverage our massive credit card database — that they’ve missed an opportunity to solve something more meaningful for journalism and the open web.

Manton Reece @manton