Should Apple provide News + Free during the COVID-19 Crisis?

I’m thinking that Apple should offer Apple News + free during this crisis—similar to what other companies are doing with some of their services. I see several benefits:

  • More people will have more comprehensive news from credible sources
  • Apple will gain more goodwill
  • Some of those who use the service will stay with it after the crisis

Thoughts on this one?

Good idea.
Drop him a line!

The NY Times has free newsletters that they will email to you.

Aljazeera is free too.

Well I thought of dropping Tim a line but I figure he is just a bit busy right now. :slight_smile: Perhaps @MacSparky or @ismh have contacts they could share this idea with.

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the software needs to get better, in order for it to be a sticky service. Yes it would be nice to have for a while, but if the software stays as bad as it is, then people won’t be willing to pay for it.

It’s worth the price to me; if it isn’t worth $10/month to someone - even during the current health crisis, even with a free trial - and if it isn’t worth spending $10 on for even a month after the free trial, then making it free means that person won’t ever be a subscriber, and that person will merely cost Apple money (as they have to pay news sources).

I got the Black Friday 3-month free trial, and after using it hard for those months I decided to keep it. For me it’s absolutely worth the money for access to most of the Wall Street Journal and all of The New Yorker alone, not to mention several magazines I’ve come to read cover to cover.

I just got an offer in the mail for 50 issues of The New Yorker for $45, and had I not gone for Apple News+ I would have taken that offer.

I’m in News+ for 45-60 minutes/day.

There’s always important news going on, and people can get most of it online for free. I don’t see the point of making free News+ now, any more than I do of lowering iTunes rental prices.

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Not necessary for me. I already subscribe. But the best thing to do for your health are to wash your hands 20 seconds, keep isolated, and not fixate on the news.


I did subscribe but got rid of it a few months ago - i didn’t find the articles particularly interesting/better. Now when i pop open news+ most articles are behind the Apple paywall (of course!) urging you to get a subscription (annoying and cheap move on Apple’s side imho). But interestingly, i can often find the article in question by googling, for free… how about that.

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Were you subscribing to channels, topics, and sites? Were you training News with thumbs up/down? Were you blocking poor quality sites? Once I started that customization I found the product became much more appealing, and served me better articles. (At one point I actually hit the 150-ish limit for channels/sites before paring back.)

Apple can do what they want. People should not jump to use it even though “free”. I think there are better sources of news … some free and some paid. If paying, go elsewhere IMHO.

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Yes, did all that and still got more and more political bs articles and texts based on sounds bites, lack of fundamental logic or science. I guess it large reflected the amount of junk that is out there, the interwebs enabling anyone with an ipad to think they have something to say (sorry for sounding so cranky but i really miss some good journalism). Also Apple throws in the same advert over and over again. I can find junk articles myself with google (actually i use DT3 and DTA) - without the ads.

Happy it works better for you.

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I completely agree, news+ has non of the so called Apple sophistication and curation one might think it has. I got better results with Zite (!) years ago until, of course, google killed it.

It’s such a good service in theory. I wish there was a way to tell it that I don’t want ANY opinion articles from the newspapers that I subscribe to. As it is now, it feels like it serves up 80% opinion.

I don’t think you were training it correctly. If you believe specific sources are biased you can block them. If you don’t want to read certain topics you can block them. If you have preferred sources, you can upvote them. The experiences you relate are utterly unfamiliar to me.

Flipboard bought Zite six years ago and incorporated its tech. More, they built a tool to allow users to transfer their Zite preferences and subscriptions to Flipboard. It was quite easy, and they advertised that transfer ability for several months while they allowed Zite to continue to run. You should definitely have seen the news and the transfer info at the time.

Google had nothing to so with it.

FYI I just opened Apple News on my Mac and thought I’d show what I get, based on the training and the channels/topics/stories I’ve ‘hearted’ (and blocked).

FYI I tend to get more Washington Post articles than most people, probably because I’m a subscriber (which Apple News knows, giving me full unlock to those articles).

So here’s the main sections I see, in order, and I do not see “political bs articles and texts based on sounds bites, lack of fundamental logic or science”:

No. State media are providing excellent coverage for free.

I tried the news+ free trial and cancelled almost immediately. I haven’t read magazines regularity for decades despite working for a company that sold subscriptions, etc so the Texture section meant nothing.

I generally scan my RSS feeds several times a day and clip articles to read later. In many/most cases you can’t do that in news+ . Strike 3 was new+ highjacking RSS feeds making it more difficult to add to Reeder. So I deleted it.

I realize many people like news+, my brother among them. But that hasn’t translated into a lot of paying subscribers. I predict that news+ will eventually become a free add-on for those that pay for music & tv.

Depends on which State, doesn’t it? (Or do you think Russian state media would be fine as well?) And whether a State offers news to being with, ja?

Of course, State media doesn’t provide access to, or the breadth and depth of news stories equal to The Wall Street Journal, the entirety of The New Yorker or Vox’s offerings, full access to The Atlantic, the Toronto Star, etc. And News+ give access to current and past issues of dozens of magazines.

Enjoy your free state media. And you can get lots of good up-to-the-minute news for free from lots of other sources online, it’s wonderful. And I don’t dispute it. But I was responding to a claim repeated that it was replete with biased, illogical and unscientific material, which I’ve found is not the case.

I get a lot out of the WSJ, The New Yorker, and tons of magazines I’d otherwise have either subscribed to or not been able to access.

I used to be a subscriber to the WSJ but eventually dropped it because they required me to get the dead tree edition in addition to digital. And I had to CALL THEM ON THE PHONE to cancel. Now they offer digital only, but you still have to call them to cancel

(pardon the rant, my boredom from ‘sheltering in place’ has been interrupted by electricians tearing out a ceiling)

For many years I got the WSJ online for around $45/yr. I would simply go online and uncheck the auto-renewal. At the end of the subscription I’d be contacted to renew for around $90, but I’d ignore them, wait 6-8 weeks, then a $45-$50/yr offer would reappear and I’d take advantage of it. Never had to speak to a human ever. But I know people who subscribe to the NYT who have had to do what you describe.

Washington Post subscriptions are similar to WSJ. I first subscribed two years ago for $35, then they tried to get me to take the normal digital rate of $100/yr. I declined, then two(?) months later I got an offer for $45 and I re-upped. If the NYT made a similar offer I would have taken that instead, but I have come to quite like the WaPo.

The WSJ coverage in News+ is a ‘curated’ subset, which at first worried me, but it really does have pretty much what I was reading it for.