Without a doubt the biggest news for publishers during Apple’s WWDC was the announcement of the new Apple News App which will ship with iOS 9. This new app will replace the current Newsstand which has caused a lot of grief for both publishers and Apple users. Since iOS 7 was launched, Apple introduced the new Newsstand icon which would hide apps inside it. Apple users flamed that they couldn’t get rid of the Newsstand and publishers didn’t appreciate their apps being hidden behind an ugly icon. So now Apple Kills Newsstand and introduces Apple News!
What is the Apple News App?
The new News app is essentially a replica of the already very popular Flipboard app, which aggregates news and blogs into a single app. It will launch in the US, UK and Australia in the fall of 2015 with a few of the top publishers in the world having partnered up with Apple. You can see a clip of the announcement here:
Currently anybody with an apple id can sign up to become an Apple News Publisher and all you have to do is add your RSS feed. Apple will review your content and get back to you later.
The News app will also support a more advanced format called “Apple News Format”, but no detailed information is yet available about this. Publishers will have to use the new format in order to create rich content like audio, video and slideshows. This format is also required to use their iAds ad system in order to monetise your content.
What About Native Apps?
So what does this mean for digital publishers and especially for app publishers who already have a Newsstand app published? In short, exciting times! When we first heard the news here at MagLoft we were concerned to say the least, as we are a service provider helping clients get their apps published in the Newsstand.
We have come to realise that this is indeed great news for digital publishers, and especially publishers with apps already published in the Newsstand!
Apple Kills Newsstand – Apps Become Standalone Apps
If you were to install the iOS 9 operating system on your iPad you will notice that the Newsstand is gone and all the Newsstand apps have been converted into standalone apps. This is great news as you can now get your app out of the Newsstand and onto the home screen.
Is There Any Need For Apps Now With Apple News?
Absolutely, and it turns out that the new Apple News app might just be a great discovery tool for publishers! You see, for now it’s possible to add a RSS feed to Apple News, and you can use this content to promote any other page you may have. This could be your app landing page or another opt-in page!
- You can feed your free and teaser content through the Apple News app and guide readers to your premium content via your app and website!
- You can’t sell premium content and subscriptions via the new Apple News app, so you will still need your native apps to provide this premium content to your readers.
- You can’t send push notifications to your readers using the new Apple News app.
- With a native app you still have your icon visible on the home screen and not inside the News app.
Of course Apple is just one platform and with MagLoft you get published on Android and the Web as well.
What About MagLoft and Apple News App?
So even though Apple kills Newsstand we are actually very excited about the launch of Apple News as it gives publishers more opportunity for exposure and discovery. We will be following the development closely and will of course, provide support for you in order to also get published in the Apple News app.
We will make sure that all magazines created in MagLoft will have an RSS feed that can be used for Apple News. We are also hopeful that the new Apple News Format will be structured very closely to HTML5 which will give our clients a head start as most issue content is already HTML5.
We will continue to enhance our service to provide you the best and most affordable tool for publishing your content in as many channels as possible as easily as possible.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.