Your Apple News+ Initial Impressions?

Here are mine:

  • Although you can change text size on any article page, no dark mode :cry:. Assume this has to do with the amount of design control Apple’s given to publishers which is good, but even during the day, I’m one of those dark mode peeps.
  • Currently you can only access the current issue of a magazine. Since you can copy/share links to individual articles, it would be nice to see the back catalog, at least for the time of your subscription. Doesn’t look like that’s available.
  • Article links from the TOC on the magazines I’ve opened goes directly to the article but if you swipe left-to-right and vice versa (I do like this “browse” feature), you get ads in between articles (every ad I’ve seen is just one page before you go to the next article). If you click on the ads, they take you to the advertiser’s website as you’d expect.
  • Articles do not maintain reading (scroll) position after you leave a long article and come back to it. :rage: (This also annoys me in my favorite iOS RSS reader, Fiery Feeds, but the dev says it’s in the works.)
  • On the theme of progress, like Books app, there’s Reading Now and Recent. I’d like to see this expanded so you could see how much of a magazine you’d been through or, more importantly, what articles you’ve already read in each issue.
  • There doesn’t seem to be any concept of “subscribing/unsubscribing” to a magazine, only opening or downloading an issue. It then gets added to My Magazines and I don’t see any obvious way to remove a magazine from that view. I assume the next issue will then show once it is published. If you read across lots of magazines, this view is going to get lengthy/involve lots of scrolling quickly.
  • Harry Potter-style “live photos” (at least for covers) finally! I haven’t seen any animated headlines in the ~30 articles I skimmed like were shown in the keynote. I hope publishers take advantage of whatever tools Apple has given them. Making articles more engaging through animation, infographics, maybe even interactivity would increase the value of the News+ subscription quite a bit.
  • I like the selection of publications. Lots of magazines I’d never read if I had to purchase an individual subscription but since they’re available…definitely will.
  • Looking forward to the update to macOS News app so that I can access magazines there too.

macOS 14.4.4 is available now – check About This Mac in the Apple icon. It is a big payload – 2.5GB – and takes about 45 minutes to install. YMMV.

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Watching the keynote now (had a lot of meetings today) and at the risk of making a pun… I’m feeling sort of non-plussed by the service? I read a couple magazines on a monthly basis (Time, GQ) so this isn’t massively to have 300 magazines that I don’t intend Reading. I read a lot of Apple News that’s already free, so I’m not sure that this service is a fit for me, per se.

I will probably give it the benefit of a doubt and try it out for a month anyway, see if it changes the way I get my news and reading done or not.

According to this Apple Support Article, it is possible to download back issues. It sounds like this capability may be a bit hidden.

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Not hidden on iOS. Click a Favorite. If it is a magazine, there are shown covers for the current and past issues (up to about 6 months it seems).

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Thanks. Good to know. I haven’t subscribed yet, but am planning to sign up soon.

Thanks for the tips!

Spot on. Getting to Search is non-obvious because you have to leave the News+ tab and go to the Following tab. Enter the magazine title in the text field at the top of the page (yes, the one with the “Channels, Topics, and Stories” text).

Good call. Also found on the Following tab.

I notice some (e.g. Time) have more than a year.

Thanks again!

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I’ve had my eye on a Wall Street Journal subscription for awhile. So when I heard The Wall Street Journal was included in Apple News Plus, I thought it sounded too good to be true.

Turns out it is.

Apparently you get “a curated collection of general interest news”. I’ve subscribed and cancelled already once I saw that it didn’t include a full Wall Street Journal subscription. Unfortunately, that was the major draw for me. The magazines are nice, but they’re not enough to compel me to sign up for the service.

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Just started the free trial. First impression is positive. Between my wife and I, we had been paying for a few of the included magazines…which we will now cancel and probably about results in a break-even on the $9.99…but with an additional 297 magazines to choose from. On my XS max phone, some of the publishers seem to have done a great job with format, while others it is a shrunken print magazine which doesn’t read as well on the phone. It is only 1 hour into the free trial, but I could see keeping this especially given it includes family sharing.

UPDATE - DAY 2: I suffered from the app crashing on iOs and MacOS this morning but seemed to have been fixed by mid-day (US East Coast). I am really liking the iPad version of these magazines. Have read/browsed latest issues of 3 sport magazines, 1 music, 3 tech, and the Cities articles Apple featured in Nat’l Geographic. I like reading (~2-3 books per month, Feedly feeds, MPU and Stratechery Discourse forums, and numerous work-related reports/articles/etc.). I can see keeping Apple News + even after trial expires.

I’m trying it out now, mostly because I’m not a big magazine reader, wondering if this new approach might draw me into reading magazines more.

Not opposed to Apple News but no excitment here.


I’m out of step. Big surprise… Turn on television a dozen times a year… subscribe to services like Screen casts Online … Amazon music … Audible… Kindle

Apple will see little of my money. …the joys of being an outlier. Apologies for topic drift…

[quote=“mikeschmitz, post:8, topic:11564”]
I’ve had my eye on a Wall Street Journal subscription for awhile. So when I heard The Wall Street Journal was included in Apple News Plus, I thought it sounded too good to be true.

Turns out it is.

Apparently you get “a curated collection of general interest news”(
[/quote] …

Likewise, I planned to subscribe (again) to the WSJ but waited for the Apple announcement. I just now updated to Mojave 10.14.4 and subscribed to Apple News+. The WSJ offering appears to be quite thorough. All of the major sections are there - Top Stories, U.S., World, Business and Finance, Opinion, Life & Arts. The vast majority of WSJ’s “digital” content appears to be present and available to read, at least for the last 1-4 weeks, depending on the section. Content older than about 3 weeks is labeled “subscription” in the Top Stories section. In the U.S., World and Opinion sections, all of the content for the last week is available to read - nothing is tagged “subscription”. In Business and Finance and Life & Arts sections the content for the past 24 weeks is present, but most (not all) of the stories older than 1-2 weeks are labeled “subscription”.

It’s been a year or two since I last subscribed to the WSJ (digital content only, no newspaper), but based on my recollection I’m guessing that all, or the vast majority, of the recent WSJ digital content is available in Apple News+. This alone is worth the $9.99/month price for me. WSJ’s current subscription promotion offers a year of the digital content for $15.60/month. The Apple News+ is a better deal for me, even though some older content is not available. The magazines are just a bonus - I’ll read those as I have time available.

In the last several weeks I have read many selections from the old Apple News. The new format is even better. I like the well-illustrated but not flashy format - no tackiness, no clickbait-type headlines. Hopefully some other newspapers will join. I’m satisfied so far.

Details are still coming out, but it sounds like WSJ gives you 3 day archives and a bunch of stuff hidden behind search:

I’ve not had a “real” subscription to the WSJ to compare it to, but that sounds… not great.

@mikeschmitz - thanks for the info and the MacStories link. I’ll keep observing over the initial “free” 30 days to see if this suits my needs, given the price discount relative to a direct WSJ subscription.

The MacStories article implies that access to archived articles is limited to 3 days. That’s not what I’m seeing. Virtually all of the content presented for the last week is available, and in certain sections some (not all) of the content is available for the previous 2-3 weeks.

I’ll concede that it’s not clear how much of the content available in the direct WSJ subscription is actually presented in Apple News+. As a retiree and personal investor I like to keep abreast of a broad selection the general news and business news but readily agree that an institutional investor or an investment professional might need more than Apple’s service provides. I’ll keep the Apple News+ for now to see if the content is enough for my needs. Maybe ignorance of what’s missing is bliss :grinning:

I’m realizing I perceive the organization/UX of News as being optimized for commoditized (free) content. I don’t want a publication I’m paying for to be served chopped up over a few dozen swipes among other content. The value of the WSJ isn’t just the higher quality of writing and research in an individual article; it’s the presentation of the entire daily publication as a cohesive work and that seems lost in News right now. I’m a former daily reader of the print WSJ and FT so I’m probably just out of touch. :slight_smile:

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Trying out the 30-day free period, though not likely to continue with month-to-month afterward.

  • I liked the ease of discovering magazines in Texture – that UI hasn’t smoothly carried over to News+.
  • You can browse for magazines in the alphabetical list or the topical categories in News+ but you cannot always succeed with searching by title. A Channels and Topics search by name doesn’t always find the magazine.
  • Adding to My Magazines or Favorites on iOS doesn’t seem to fully sync to News on macOS (14.4.4 is installed; should sync).
  • With some magazines you can see thumbnails of all the pages in an edition – but not with others.
  • The “Read the Cartoons First” feature of a New Yorker standalone subscription (which Texture used to provide also) is not present in News+. It’s a popular feature but perhaps Apple’s API doesn’t support that.
  • In Texture links in articles frequently were active – doesn’t seem to be the case in News+.
  • On the Mac there is a “Follow Your Favorites” feature that lists mainly publications I’ve never favorited and wouldn’t – not obvious why Apple AI would think I am following Elle.

Overall News+ has a bit of the feeling of “OMG, Tim said it’s launch day. Just put it out there and we’ll fix it later.”

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I’m not as interested in Apple News+. The articles are good for today’s news cycle and will lose value after a week or two. Books, however, will retain value. I’m more interested in an Apple Books+ experience. Amazon’s Kindle has access to thousands of books with Amazon Prime. I wonder if Apple will do book subscriptions too?

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As long as you don’t consider resale value, or being able to give away an ebook.

I find all locked-down text to be of pretty much equal (lesser) value, with convenience in their favor.

With a subscription, I understand that I am paying for access to a thousand books. I don’t care too much for resale value of a physical book. If I understand correctly, I’m not supposed to resell an ebook. I can suggest an ebook to a friend and maybe they’ll buy it to support the author with a nice book sale.

I use the Kindle service to preview a book. If I like the book a lot, I’ll be happy to buy a digital download. If I truly loved it, I would buy a physical copy for my personal library.

That’s like the Apple Music Store model. Subscribe to Apple Music to listen all the music I want. If there is a musician or album I love, I have the option to buy it and download it to my computer.

My buying habits have remained the same from decades ago. I listen to the local FM radio station and discover new music. I hear a new song and quickly purchase it at my local music store or online digital music store.

Update from day 2: Browse the Catalog has been broken into two buttons: A-M and N-Z.

Clicking on the N-Z button shows all the magazines that were missing after launch yesterday.

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