Just this week, Apple has decided to debut new tools for its Apple News mobile app. These tools are now made available to just about every news content publisher out there, including local newspapers, independent publishers, and even bloggers. These content providers can now serve up news articles using the Apple News format. Apple is also looking to empower publishers of news content, especially with regards to monitoring how their content is performing in the Apple News mobile app.
For those not familiar with Apple News, it is a mobile app integrated into Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, and it basically collates news sources into a single feed. On top of that, it offers customized news recommendations to iOS mobile users depending on content they have previously viewed.
After launching the Apple News mobile app back in September of last year, Apple has since collected over 100 media companies, including the New York Times and Conde Nast, as content partners. But now, by including local newspapers, independent publishers, and bloggers, Apple News has greatly expanded on its scope.
More importantly, the expansion of the Apple News mobile app’s reach now allows Apple to compete with Facebook and Google in further capturing the attention of mobile users everywhere. In April of this year, Facebook is already expected to roll out Instant Articles to all publishers, which should speed up the loading of news articles posted on the social media giant’s pages.
Aside from quicker web page loading capabilities, Facebook’s Instant Articles feature also includes a suite of tools that offer maps and navigation tools, image zooming, video autoplay, and audio captioning abilities. Websites that have already collaborated with Instant Articles include National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and BBC News, just to name a few.
As for Google, it already has a similar project called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). As claimed by the search giant, AMP enabled web pages load four times as fast, and even require less wireless data than other standard news articles viewed by mobile users using their smartphones and tablet devices.
To those who have not tried using Apple News yet, getting started is fairly easy. After first launching the app, users are presented with a list of media companies to be added to their feed. It is only a matter of selecting which news sources to view or to add later. Reading news articles is made quick by allowing users to swipe horizontally when browsing different content, while tabs marked with “Favorites” or “Search” will help users get preferred content or search for them.
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