Apple Highlights ‘Great Feedback’ Received From Hundreds of Apple News+ Publishers

While the highlight of last week's iOS 12.3 release was a revamped TV app with a new "Channels" feature, the release notes also mentioned a minor change to the Apple News+ interface that did not receive as much attention.


Ensuring the feature gains some awareness, Apple in a press release today highlighted the ability for Apple News+ subscribers to follow publications directly from the Apple News+ catalog view in iOS 12.3 and macOS 10.14.5. New issues from followed titles are automatically downloaded and available offline.


Apple added that it has received "a lot of great feedback from hundreds of publishers" available in Apple News+, with quotes featured from editors of publications such as Vox, People, Harper's Bazaar, and Popular Science.

Apple's services chief Eddy Cue:
We've heard a lot of great feedback from the hundreds of publishers available in Apple News+. The latest updates to Apple News+ aim to best showcase their incredible journalism and put the most trusted news sources at readers' fingertips. Apple News+ customers are very engaged readers, with most visiting the News app daily. Hundreds of people at Apple, across editorial, engineering, marketing and design teams, are working to make Apple News+ the best experience for people who love reading their favorite titles and discovering new stories.
The feedback from editors can be read on the Apple Newsroom.


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PSA: Make Sure to Cancel Apple News+ If You Signed Up for a Free Trial After Apple’s March 25 Event and Don’t Want to be Charged

Tomorrow marks a month since Apple announced its Apple News+ subscription service, which means if you signed up on March 25 following the event, you're going to start getting charged $9.99 per month.


If you're not happy with Apple News+ and want to avoid the fee, make sure to cancel today. Here's how:


  • Open up the Apple News app.

  • On iPad, scroll to the bottom of the side bar. On iPhone, tap the "Following" tab.

  • Choose "Manage Subscriptions."

  • Tap on "Cancel Free Trial."

Once you've canceled Apple News+, the free trial ends immediately and you won't be charged. If you don't cancel, your subscription will renew at $9.99 per month going forward. After canceling, you can opt to resubscribe, and you'll be charged $9.99 right away.

An estimated 200,000 people signed up for Apple News+ during the first 48 hours after the service launched, which is more users than Texture had at its peak, but it's not clear how many subscribers will continue to use the service now that free trials are beginning to end.

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Apple News+ has been criticized for its confusing layout, lack of clear controls for managing and accessing magazines, poor customization and recommendations, inability to delete downloaded magazines, outdated PDF interface for some magazines, and nearly unreadable content on iPhone and Mac for magazines that aren't digitally optimized.


As for news, what many people may be subscribing for, it's also a bit limited. You can access all of the content from The Wall Street Journal, for example, but Apple is only highlighting a selection of general interest news stories, and to find anything else, you have to search. Apple News+ also only retains three days of archived content.


Aside from The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, no other newspapers, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, have agreed to join Apple News+, making it of limited interest to those who don't read magazines. Newspapers have refused to join because Apple takes 50 percent of the revenue from an Apple News+ subscription, splitting the rest between publishers based on how much time is spent on their content.


Former Texture users have also expressed displeasure with Apple News+ because the interface is not as streamlined or as easy to use as Texture, there's no Android app, and there's a limited collection of back issues. Texture is shutting down at the end of May.


There are customers who enjoy magazines and those who are subscribers to The Wall Street Journal who are satisfied with the experience, but for many, Apple needs to make improvements to make Apple News+ feel more finished, less confusing, and more polished.


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Some Publishers Unhappy With Apple News+ Launch and Lack of Help From Apple

Some publishers who have joined Apple News+ are unhappy with the launch of the service and have shared details on some "early headaches" with media site Digiday.

When encouraging publications to sign up, Apple promised design resources and templates for customizing content for the Apple News format, but as it turns out, Apple is shutting out some smaller publications and "playing favorites" with larger publishers.


All participating publishers have been provided with an email address for sending pitches for design help, but a smaller group of publishers has been provided with access to a private Slack channel.
But a smaller, select group of publishers were invited to join a private Slack channel where they could connect with Apple more directly, a move that exasperated several sources when they were informed of the channel's existence. "They're basically playing favorites," that first source said. "It always seems to be good for the big guys, but not for the rest of us."
Apple has not provided Apple-designed article or content templates to publishers and has "largely outsourced" templates to vendors, which has resulted in bugs and other issues, along with much more work for publishers.

Magazine publishers need to use tools to scan PDFs and convert them into individual articles and advertisements, but the technology is said to be so buggy that each issue needs to be "effectively copy- and design-edited all over again."

Smaller magazines that don't have the resources for these full redesigns need to either invest time and money anyway or submit a PDF instead. A lot of the content within Apple News+ at the current time is PDF-based, which does not make for the greatest user reading experience.

Publishers are also said to be frustrated with the "uneven user experience" in Apple News with the split between PDFs and the new Apple News format. "You think of Apple, and they're so design-conscious," said one publisher. "This doesn't feel like that at all."

According to Digiday, the publishers that it spoke to said that the flaws in Apple News+ do not "bode well for its long-term future" unless Apple adapts its approach and makes some key changes to the service.

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Apple News+ users have also expressed frustration with the service, and at MacRumors we've heard numerous complaints from Apple customers confused by the unintuitive user interface and unhappy with the lack of features.


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How to See Content Downloaded for Offline Reading in Apple News+

With an Apple News+ subscription, you can download magazines for offline reading, but Apple doesn't provide an easy way to see what's downloaded and what's not. You can tell on an individual magazine basis by checking to see if a download icon (cloud and arrow) is available, but there's no section in Apple News+ for managing offline content.

You can, however, still check to see what's downloaded, though you'll need to turn off your WiFi and LTE to do so.

  1. Open up the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Tap on the Airplane Mode icon to disable WiFi and your cellular connection if using an LTE iPad.

  3. Open up the Apple News app.

  4. Tap on the Apple News+ section.

  5. Let it load.


When the Apple News+ section is done loading whatever content is available, you'll see a list of all of the magazines that have been downloaded for offline reading.


You can tap on any one of the magazines that you've downloaded to read it, and to download more, simply turn WiFi and LTE back on.

For more on Apple News+, make sure to check out our dedicated Apple News+ guide. Apple News users can follow MacRumors on Apple News using this link.


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How to Download a Magazine for Offline Reading in Apple News+

Apple News+ includes a feature that lets you download your favorite magazines for offline reading so you can check them out even when you don't have a WiFi or cellular connection, such as while on a flight.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Open up Apple News+ on iPhone or iPad.

  2. Choose a magazine, either from your My Magazines list, the search feature in Apple News, or the browse feature in the Apple News+ section.

  3. Tap on the download icon underneath the magazine's title. It looks like a little cloud with an arrow through it.

  4. Tapping on the download icon will make the magazine available to read offline.


You can use the browse feature or the My Magazines feature to add current issues for offline reading, but make sure to use the search feature or tap a magazine's name when reading it to go to the main overview that will let you download past magazine issues.

For more on Apple News+, make sure to check out our dedicated Apple News+ guide. Apple News users can follow MacRumors on Apple News using this link.


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How to Access Back Issues of a Magazine in Apple News+

The Apple News+ service lets you access current and past issues of more than 200 magazines, but the interface for the app is a bit confusing and it can be hard to find past issues.

There are a couple methods that will let you see back issues of magazines, which we've outlined below.

Accessing Back Issues Through a Magazine's Overview Page


Every magazine has an overview page in Apple News+, and though it's not immediately obvious, it's easy to get to.

  1. Open up Apple News.

  2. Select the Apple News+ section.

  3. Tap on any magazine that you want to read.

  4. Tap on the title of the magazine at the top of the app.


This method will let you see the overview page for the magazine, where all back issues are listed. You can swipe to scroll through them and tap the download icon to download them for offline reading.

Accessing Back Issues Through Search


You can get to the same magazine overview page through the search function in Apple News, without having to open up a magazine.

  1. Open Apple News.

  2. Access search. On iPad, it's on the sidebar. On iPhone, it's under the "Following" tab.

  3. Search for the magazine you want to find.

  4. Tap the magazine's name.


All of the back issues for the magazine will be listed under "Recent Issues," and you can swipe through them as mentioned above.

While Texture users had issues dating back years, Apple News+ is limited to issues of magazines from March 2018 on, which is the date when Apple acquired the Texture app.

Back issues before March 2018 are not available within Apple News+, but going forward, Apple will presumably continue to keep older issues of magazines available.

For more on Apple News+, make sure to check out our dedicated Apple News+ guide. Apple News users can follow MacRumors on Apple News using this link.


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How to Read Any Paywalled Article From The Wall Street Journal Using Apple News+

Apple News+ includes a full subscription to all content from The Wall Street Journal, but because Apple restricts the WSJ articles that are shown in Apple News+, it can be hard to access certain paywalled content.

Luckily, a Reddit user recently shared a useful solution that gives you a straightforward way to read any WSJ article on your iPhone or iPad, though you'll need to use Safari to get to content.



  1. Find a paywalled article on The Wall Street Journal that you want to read using your Apple News+ subscription.

  2. Tap on the "Share" icon at the top of the browser. Make sure to tap the share icon native to Safari, and not the one in the article itself.

  3. Choose the "Open in News" option.


That's all you have to do. Once you tap "Open in News," the full article from The Wall Street Journal is accessible and can be read in its entirety through your included Apple News+ subscription. There's also the option of searching for the title of an article that you want to read, though that's a bit more of a hassle than simply tapping on the share sheet.


The Apple News+ section of Apple News and the Apple News app will surface some WSJ content independently, but Apple is sharing general interest stories rather than financial or other content, so this browser workaround method will need to be used for those stories as Apple News+ does not include a WSJ web login.

Apple News+ subscribers should also be aware that older content from The Wall Street Journal is only accessible for a period of three days before it is no longer available. The steps listed here for The Wall Street Journal will also work for other publications with paywalled stories that participate in Apple News+.

Note: This method only works on the iPhone and the iPad as there is no Open in Apple News option when browsing on the Mac.

For more on Apple News+, make sure to check out our dedicated Apple News+ guide. Apple News users can follow MacRumors on Apple News using this link.


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How to Add a Magazine to ‘My Magazines’ in Apple News+

Apple in iOS 12.2 introduced Apple News+, a subscription service that provides access to hundreds of magazines and some paywalled news content for $9.99 per month.

Apple has some work to do with the Apple News+ interface, and it's not obvious how to do simple things like add a magazine to "My Magazines" to make sure you receive new issues of your favorites. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps you need to follow to get a magazine to show up in My Magazines.


There are two separate methods you can use to favorite a magazine, including through search or with a magazine you're already reading.

While Reading a Magazine



  1. With the News+ app on iPhone or iPad, open up the magazine you want to add to My Magazines.

  2. Tap on the title of the magazine at the top of the navigation bar.

  3. Tap on the icon shaped like a heart.

Through Search



  1. On iPhone or iPad, search for the name of the magazine that you want to add to favorites.

  2. To do so, on iPhone tap on the "Following" tab to get to the search interface and on iPad, open up the side bar and use the search bar at the top.

  3. Type in the name of the magazine you want to add to My Magazines.

  4. Tap on the heart icon in the search results to add it to My Magazines.

Any magazine that you've favorited with a heart will be listed in the My Magazines interface, and new issues will automatically be downloaded for offline reading when available. You'll also be notified whenever a new issue becomes available to read.

Note that My Magazines will also show recently read magazines and magazines that you're reading now, though these will not stay in your My Magazines feed permanently.

Favoriting a magazine will also cause content from that source to show up more frequently in Apple News and Apple News+.

Removing a Magazine From My Magazines


To remove a magazine from My Magazines, follow the above instructions and make sure to tap the heart again to remove it from your list. A heart that's filled in means that it's been favorited, while an outline means that it has not.

Blocking a Magazine from Apple News


You'll also notice an icon that's a heart with a slash through it. Tapping on this icon will block it from Apple News and you will no longer see content from that magazine in your Apple News+ feed.


For more on Apple News+, make sure to check out our dedicated Apple News+ guide.


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Over 200,000 People Subscribed to Apple News+ in First 48 Hours After Launch

Upwards of 200,000 iPhone, iPad, and Mac users signed up for an Apple News+ subscription following the service's March 25 launch, reports The New York Times.

The number comes from two unnamed sources who provided the figures to The New York Times and asked not to be named.


That's more than Texture, the service Apple News+ was based on, had during its peak. Apple purchased Texture in 2018 and is shutting it down at the end of May now that Apple News+ has launched.

Apple News+ provides access to more than 200 magazines as well as paywalled news from The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and a few other news publications.

Apple is going to be charging $9.99 per month for Apple News+, but those who subscribed following the event have a 30-day free trial. There are still more than three weeks before customers will be charged, and many may be planning to cancel ahead of when the trial expires.

It's still not clear how popular Apple News+ will be once that trial period runs out, but many magazines are hoping for the best. Pamela Wassserstein, CEO of New York Media, said that she felt Apple News+ would allow New York magazine, The Cut, and Vulture to reach a "new audience" in an environment that "feels right."

Apple takes 50 percent of the subscription price from Apple News+, and will be providing the rest to its publishing partners. Media companies will receive an amount based on the amount of time readers are devoting to their content.

This revenue split has been controversial and while many magazines have signed up because Texture worked in a similar way, Apple has been unable to woo major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post.


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Apple Was Unable to Ink Apple News+ Deals With WaPo and NYT Despite ‘Vigorous Courtship’

Apple was desperate to secure deals with The Washington Post or The New York Times for its recently announced Apple News+ service but was ultimately unable to persuade them to sign up despite a "vigorous courtship," according to a new report from Vanity Fair.

Shortly after Apple's Texture deal last spring, Apple began discussions with the two news sites, putting a "tremendous" amount of pressure on them and promising to significantly increase their readership.

"Eddy Cue was in and out of their offices really trying to woo them." Cue's elevator pitch, according to people familiar with the discussions, was, "We'll make you the most-read newspaper in the world."
Apple was aiming for access to the full content from the two newspapers, rather than a pared down offering or a selection of stories on a specific set of topics. Apple is said to have not wanted "limitations in terms of content."

Neither The New York Times nor The Washington Post could be convinced to join Apple News+. Both publications have successful online subscription offerings already. The New York Times charges $15 per month for a basic digital subscription, while The Washington Post charges $10. The newspapers get to keep 100 percent of the revenue brought in by those subscriptions.

Apple wanted to include full access to the content from the news sites for the $9.99 per month asking price of Apple News+. According to prior reports, Apple keeps 50 percent of the subscription revenue for Apple News+ and splits the other 50 percent among publishers based on how much time is spent consuming their content.

If The New York Times and The Washington Post joined Apple News+, their existing subscribers would have little reason to keep paying them $10 to $15 per month instead of paying the $9.99 subscription to Apple News+, which would also include other news content and magazines. Apple believes its huge subscriber base would ultimately bring more readers to the news sites, but neither newspaper was swayed by that argument.

Meredith Kopit Levin, the chief operating officer for The New York Times, told Vanity Fair that the newspaper wants to have a direct relationship with its readers.
"We've been pretty deliberate about saying that the best place you can experience journalism is through a relationship with a news provider. So far for us, that has meant a direct relationship with users. The more we have a relationship with users, the better we think our business will be, and the better the experience that we can provide to them."
A spokesperson for The Washington Post said that the paper's focus is on growing its own subscription base, which meant joining Apple News+ "just did not make sense" at the current time.

While Apple was not able to secure deals with either The Washington Post nor The New York Times, it did ink a deal with The Wall Street Journal. The full content from The Wall Street Journal is unlocked for Apple News+ subscribers even though a standard subscription starts at $19.49 per month for the first year, after which it goes up to $38.99.

There are caveats, though. A limited selection of general news and opinion pieces are promoted through Apple News+, and other content from The Wall Street Journal must be manually searched for. Apple News+ also only provides three days worth of archives from The Wall Street Journal.

According to Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal has less to lose than other news sites. Its main subscriber base consists of corporate accounts and "high net-worth individuals" interested in business and finance news rather than the more general news content that will be promoted via Apple News+.

Apple has also secured deals with hundreds of magazines, and much of Apple News+ comprises access to magazines like National Geographic, Vogue, The New Yorker, and other high profile titles. Magazines also have less to lose than digital sites already offering subscriptions as most don't have established digital subscription businesses.

Publications that do not have large audiences paying for digital access each month have the potential to be more successful with Apple News, but for sites like The New York Times and The Washington Post, there's a real risk that joining would cannibalize existing subscribers.

It's not yet clear if Apple News+ will ultimately be successful for Apple's media partners, and it's possible that if it is, news sites that have declined joining will do so in the future.

For more on Apple News+, make sure to check out our full guide on the subscription service.


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