News...

For a while, I used the Apple News app on my iPhone to get my daily news fix.

I stopped using it because I got frustrated by how many notifications I was receiving with too little control over them, how many repeated articles I was being notified about, how often the notification links were broken, and the high number of links to paywall-protected articles. 

I switched over to the Reuters app and, while I like how much less of a nuisance it is, it’s severely lacking in the area of breaking news and there are sections of the app, such as Entertainment, that haven’t been updated in months. 

I’ve gone from news overkill to news underwhelm. 

I guess I should note that I also occasionally check Google News on my laptop but I do not have any notifications set up at all. I just check it when I check it, which is nice. But, like with the free Apple News, it links to way too many articles behind a paywall. 

I’d love to be able to support a bunch of dying newspapers with a subscription but my desire to read wavers. I find articles here and there but that’s not worth it to me to pay the $1-10 per month to subscribe especially when you compound that across the multiple sources I’d need to pay for to get my fix. Dozens of sources. Literally. 

That’s when I started thinking about how nice it would be to pay one low-ish monthly fee to get access to several news sources. 

Enter Apple News +.

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For $9.99 per month, I’d get access to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Houston Chronicle, the Globe and Mail, Miami Herald, SacBee, and a ton more. All sources that I’ve read or tried to read. Oh yeah, it also has Reuters. 

I’d also get access to National Geographic, which I adore, The New Yorker, Time, People, SI, and Wired, among many others.

I have questions, though, and I’m hoping one of you uses this service and can answer my questions (yes, I realize I can just try the free month but I’ve got you! All two of my readers!):

  • Does Apple News + have the same awful UI, ridiculous notification > article link structure, and impossible search option so you never find what you want if you need to get back to it?
  • Does it have the horrendous in-app browsing that is so touchy that it makes it just as easy to leave an article as it is to scroll through it and then you can’t go back to where you were? 
  • Do you get access to full copies of newspapers and magazines or just featured articles? I assume the in-app subscription doesn't carry over to the publication's website, does it?
  • Does the app regularly add new providers? I ask because I notice that there are zero Chicago or Chicagoland publications and the inclusion of the Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald would make this a no-brainer decision. (Check that. Looks like the Chicago Sun-Times is in there. Still not the Trib, though.)
  • Can you get links to articles for sharing using AN+ that don’t require others to use the app?

Is it worth $9.99/month? Do you have other suggestions?

Inquiring minds want to know. Help! 

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Comments

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Kevin Spencer

I haven't quite found a sweet spot of news consumption. For me it's all over the map and changes on a whim. Some measure of:

CNN
NY Times
Apple News
Flipboard
Reddit
Twitter
BBC

Between that jumbled maze of twisted passageways all alike I _think_ my eyeballs are bathed in the news of the day on a daily basis. I have notifications on for NY Times so the "ZOMG breaking news holy poop" things I see without specifically digging.

kapgar

It’s maddening, isn’t it?

Ren

I haven’t subscribed to Apple News+, but I’ll be subscribing to Apple One in a few months when my Fitness+ trial runs out.

However, my understanding is that News+ just gets you the additional articles with no UI changes, so I wouldn’t expect your UI complaints to be addressed.

The link sharing issue is the biggest complaint I’ve seen and I doubt News+ changes that.

kapgar

Yeah, the URL structure is so self righteous. I mean, at least AMP is OS agnostic. Still sucks but works regardless of device. Apple News links? Not at all. --

Kevin Apgar | @kapgar | kapgar.com

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