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Apple’s ‘News’ app lands for UK users in iOS 9.1 beta

An over-the-air update for public beta testers of Apple’s iOS operating system arrived over night and it has delivered two things (alongside reported improved stability over iOS 9.0 GM):

  1. Some new Emojis (a burrito, by all accounts).
  2. Apple News app for UK users.

We’re often late to the party in old Blighty, but it appears those hoping for an iPhone delivery on September 25th will benefit from Apple’s latest app addition.

Will it topple Flipboard, Feedly or any of the other news gathering apps out there? I think that very much depends on how ubiquitous it becomes. Until now, RSS feeds have largely been the domain of the blogger, journalist or geek, and I’m not convinced those apps which consolidate¬†content from multiple websites are in the national conscience. Apple has the power to make their own achieve just that, and if they do, it could spell rough times ahead for Flipboard and co. An app which arrives with your new device is far more likely to gain traction that one you have to proactive hunt down. Which is a great shame.

And what about publishers? In fact, this very blog? Ad-supported content was delivered a blow recently when Apple announced that ad blocking apps would be allowed in iOS. Similarly, Apple News removes any hint of advertising from the content it displays. Great for the reader, not so great for businesses which rely on revenue from clicks and impressions.

The world is changing, clearly. We all need to adapt. My first impressions of Apple News have been positive – it’s a nice, clean, simple app which makes Flipboard instantly look a little cumbersome. It offers a good range of content, too. But, Apple, come on – let us know how you’re going to help great content continue to be free! Your app is nothing without brilliant words.

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