iOS 14 Can Automatically Redirect Apple News+ Subscribers Pass Paywalls to App

Apple news+ text

iOS 14 will allow Apple News+ subscribers to open up web links to publications involved in the service directly in the News app. At the moment, going to such publications in a browser means you hit a paywall.

News Apple News+ Setting in iOS 14

A look at iOS 14 has revealed a new ‘Open Web Links in News’ setting. When turned on, this means that if you tap a link on the web to a publication included in your Apple News+ subscription the article will open in the News app. It automatically detects that the publication is included in your subscription. At the moment, you hit that paywall and have to go via the ‘Share’ button or look for the article directly in the app to read it there. According to a screenshot at 9to5Mac, the setting description reads:

Links to stories included in your Apple News+ subscription will open in News instead of the web.

This indicates to me that content not included in the subscription, and non-paywalled content, will not open in the app.

Good For Readers, Not so Good For Publishers

While this is all good news for readers, I am not sure how happy publishers will be. Yes, it may mean more people paying for and reading their content, but it also means Apple is more in control of how that content is presented. It is notable, for instance, that one of the reasons cited by a New York Times spokesperson for the publication ending its involvement in the News app was a desire to send “readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report.” The newspaper was never involved in Apple News+.

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