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Apple News goes live in the UK and Australia with iOS 9.1

Innovators' Summit - ENGLISH Print & Digital

Anyone in the UK who has downloaded the new iOS 9.1 update to their iPhone or iPad may have noticed one new feature - and no it’s not the middle finger emoji that everyone’s talking about. Chris Price reports on the roll-out of Apple News in the UK and Australia.

Chris Price reports on Apple’s latest News aggregation tool bundled with iOS 9.1

Anyone in the UK who has downloaded the new iOS 9.1 update to their iPhone or iPad may have noticed one new feature - and no it’s not the middle finger emoji that everyone’s talking about!

Instead it’s a red coloured icon on the home screen we’ve been talking about for some time called simply enough News. It’s Apple’s latest news aggregation tool and went live in the UK and Australia last week, after first launching in the US a month ago.

The “News” app replaces Apple’s Newsstand and aggregates news from a variety of sources. In the UK, Apple News launched with 14 newspaper and magazine media publishers. These include The Guardian, The Times, Financial Times, The Economist and Daily Mirror publisher, Trinity Mirror. Trinity Mirror has also said that it is putting 27 of its regional titles on the service, including Daily Record, Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo.

UK magazine media companies on board at launch include Vanity Fair owner Condé Nast, Top Gear and Radio Times publisher Immediate Media, Cosmopolitan and Esquire parent Hearst and Marie Claire publisher Time Inc.

Anyone who has ever used Flipboard may find something quite familiar about Apple News. Like that app, it allows customers to create their own customised news feeds in a graphics-rich stream. Large icons are provided for each of the publications and you can choose favourites, search for particular keywords or choose suggestions. The ‘For You’ icon pulls together news stories from your favourite publications while Explore brings up the various categories (News, Business, Politics, Travel etc.) as well as suggested channels (publications) and topics (everything from UK politics to business and iOS9).

Apple has said the arrangement with News will allow publishers to keep 100 per cent of the revenue from the ads they sell themselves and 70 per cent of ad revenue generated by Apple’s iAd platform (broadly similar to the terms Facebook is offering for its Instant Articles).

Meanwhile last month Samsung announced its own curated news service in partnership with Axel Springer. Called “Upday” the service is currently in a beta test and restricted to Galaxy devices in Germany and Poland. It is expected to arrive in other European markets in months to come.

Jan-Eric Peters, Chief Product Officer of Upday, will be at the Digital Innovators’ Summit 2016 (20-22 March 2016) to tell delegates more about the service and Axel Springer’s thinking behind it. 

*This article originally appeared on FIPP.com.