Microsoft today announced a rebranding of its news engine that's been powering sites like MSN.com since 1995, which the company is simply calling "Microsoft News." The name will replace the previous "MSN News" smartphone app beginning today across devices for iOS, Android, Microsoft Edge, Windows 10, Skype, Xbox, and Outlook.com (MSN.com will retain its name).
The revamped app curates news via publishing partners, human editors, and artificial intelligence, ensuring readers are up-to-date on the topics they care about. News sites include over 3,000 brands in all major global markets, like The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC News, and more, all including text and video content.
Users can personalize the app by prioritizing favorite news topics and selecting interests to follow in the news feed. Microsoft says that publishing partners can connect with their audiences and earn money for the content that users read within Microsoft News.
In terms of UI features, the iOS app includes a dark theme, supports the iOS widgets feature, has customizable breaking news alerts, and more:
- New personalization upgrades, including the ability to tailor interests to follow in your news feed – such as World News, Personal Finance, Fitness and many more – and to roam interests across devices and local news options for top cities
- Simplified access through seamless integration with iOS and Android widgets
- Continuous reading, for a smooth content experience
Microsoft News comes one month after Google revamped its own Google News app on iOS devices, with a few similar features like personalized news suggestions, combined AI/human curation, and more. Google News replaced the existing Google Play Newsstand app, much like Microsoft News is replacing the MSN News app.
Both apps are competitors to Apple News, which provides similar news curation features across a user's iOS devices. In iOS 12 this fall, Apple News will gain a redesign that introduces a Browse tab to make it easier to discover new channels or jump straight to favorites, and the app on iPad will be updated with a new sidebar for simpler navigation.