News+: 9 Long Press Shortcuts for iOS

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In the latest issue of Mac|Life, Carrie Marshall writes about nine long press shortcuts for iOS. These are especially useful on the iPad. Warning: This magazine is a PDF, and the article can be found on page 96.

We think long presses and 3D Touch are great, but we also think Apple has dropped the ball with them a little bit: there’s no way of knowing whether
a particular icon or keyboard key does anything until you actually hold a finger on it. Some apps use it, some don’t.

This is part of Andrew’s News+ series, where he shares a magazine every Friday to help people discover good content in Apple News+.

Get Apple News Original URLs Using This Shortcut

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A Mac app called StopTheNews has been making the news rounds lately. It lets you open Apple News original URLs directly in Safari. I wanted to share a shortcut that does the same thing on iOS.

Share an Apple news article to this shortcut, and get the original URL back. Prompt at the end lets you pick between copying the URL to your clipboard or sharing it somewhere else.

Unlike macOS, you can open an Apple News article in Safari on iOS. Then from Safari you can copy the URL. But this shortcut removes that step, so you can share the article to the shortcut, then copy the URL to the clipboard or share it elsewhere.

Apple News is Better for Big Publishers Than Small

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Digiday reached out to five publishers participating in Apple News+, and so far it sounds like there is a lot of confusion. Plus there’s the reality that the service seems to favor big publishers over smaller ones.

All participating publishers were given an email address where they were encouraged to send pitches, and sources said that by and large, Apple’s representatives were responsive to their outreach.

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.

So far that’s the way Apple News has been, and this isn’t a News+ specific problem. Hopefully the service will improve over time.

Publishers are Driving Readers to Apple News

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What’s good for publishers isn’t necessarily good for readers. Josh Constine writes about how Apple News+ is bad for publishers.

Readers visit Apple’s app, not the outlet’s site that gives it free rein to promote conference tickets, merchandise, research reports, and other money-makers. Publishers don’t get their Apple News+ readers’ email addresses for follow-up marketing, cookies for ad targeting and content personalization, or their credit card info to speed up future purchases.

This is exactly why people install adblockers. No one wants to be harassed by endless pop-ups, marketing or cookies, autoplaying videos, and they don’t want you to have their credit card info or email address so it can get leaked in a data breach. You can’t blame Apple for that.

New York Times CEO Explains Apple News Decision

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Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times, explained in an interview his decision not to join the Apple News subscription.

We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else. We’re also generically worried about our journalism being scrambled in a kind of Magimix (blender) with everyone else’s journalism.

So far Apple hasn’t been able to convince either The New York Times or Washington Post. However, it sounds like the Wall Street Journal will be a player.

Apple News Magazine Subscriptions Heading for macOS

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Appe News Magazines Sub notifications

lt looks like the Apple News subscription service will launch on macOS as well as iOS. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith shared some screenshots of a the new service as they appear in the latest beta of macOS 10.14.4. MacRumors reported that they showed notifications for subscribers when the latest edition of a magazine is released. We are expecting to hear about Apple’s News subscription service at its March 25th “It’s Showtime” event.

The screenshots show notifications from the Apple News subscription service, which will alert subscribers when new issues of their favorite magazines are available. Similar subscription information has also already been seen in iOS 12.2, with the subscription service called “Apple News Magazines.” Apple’s magazine subscription service is based on Texture, the digital magazine app that it purchased in 2018.

Apple News Has Problems But Privacy Isn't One of Them

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Hot takes abound in the wake of a report from DigiDay about how publishers are frustrated with Apple News. One of the cited issues is a lack of user targeting, which is great for users. One problem I see with Apple News is that the rumored News subscription might reward clickbait. But privacy is a big reason why I use Apple News. I can put up with ads, but the less time I spend on publishers’ websites infested with trackers, popups and autoplaying videos, the better. I have my favorite sites I subscribe to, but I do it through Apple News so the companies can’t sell my credit card information.

And while publishers remain frustrated with Apple News as a source of revenue, some said they appreciate where Apple is coming from. “I respect Apple and that they believe in privacy,” one source said. “It just makes it incredibly challenging to sell there.”

How Apple News Affects Publishers

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Great analysis as usual by Ben Thompson. He writes how the Apple News subscription might be good for certain publishers, and bad for others.

To that end, I am sure that a significant number of publications will sign up for Apple’s offering; clearly the company is confident enough to leak a date. And, frankly, many publications should: most publishers are already locked into the volume game when it comes to their editorial direction, and Apple News subscription payouts will be additive to the bottom line.

The main thing that concerns me is how revenue will be driven by clicks. I hope that Apple News doesn’t become a flood of yellow journalism.