Apple News+: Is it Worth the $9.99 per Month Subscription Price?

Apple in late March unveiled its new Apple News+ service, which is designed to let ‌Apple News‌ users access over 200 magazines and some paywalled news content for a $9.99 per month fee.

We've been using ‌Apple News‌+ over the course of the last week and a half and in our latest YouTube video, we explore whether the service is worth the $9.99 monthly cost.


‌Apple News‌+ primarily focuses on magazines, and there are right around 240 to choose from right now. There are major titles like National Geographic and The New Yorker, along with many smaller specialty magazines. The subscription fee also includes access to some paywalled news content from sites like The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, though as we'll explain, there are some caveats.

All the new ‌Apple News‌+ content is accessible through a new ‌Apple News‌+ section in the ‌Apple News‌ app, which is displayed regardless of whether you subscribe to ‌Apple News‌+. ‌Apple News‌+ features a My Magazines section with content that you're reading along with story and magazine suggestions from ‌Apple News‌ editors.

applenewsplusmymagazines
The user interface looks simple enough, but there are some quirks that have been confusing new subscribers. There's no clear way to add a new magazine to the My Magazines list, and in fact, you have to search for the title of the magazine in the standard ‌Apple News‌ interface and "favorite" it with a heart to get it to show up reliably in My Magazines or tap the title to get taken to an overview page, neither of which is intuitive.

To further confuse things, some magazines that you've read but haven't favorited will temporarily be displayed in My Magazines, and there are no options anywhere to control what shows up there, nor to customize content recommendations to make them more relevant to one's interests.

applenewsiphonepdf
When it comes to the magazines themselves, newly released magazine issues from major companies have a digital-focused interface that lets you scroll through a list of stories to get to what you want to read, but for back issues and lesser known magazines, content is presented in a PDF format that's less than ideal.

applenewsmymagazines
PDFs look all right on iPad, but are difficult to read on iPhone, and the Mac interface for ‌Apple News‌+ is no better. The single page spread on Mac features small text that's not easy to zoom into, making reading PDF-based magazines on most devices a less than stellar experience.

applenewsmac
News content is included in ‌Apple News‌+, but in the case of The Wall Street Journal, there are some limitations. While you can access The Wall Street Journal's full range of content, Apple is only highlighting a selection of general interest news stories, and to find anything else, you have to search. ‌Apple News‌+ also only retains three days of archived content.

Other major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post have refused to join Apple News+, and it's not clear if these publications will change their position.

‌Apple News‌+ is likely to improve in the future with interface updates and as more magazines adopt the customized digital-forward design, but right now, the service feels sloppy, unfinished, and confusing.

It's also not clear if it's something that will interest the general public given the heavy focus on magazines and the lack of subscription-based news that's available. Apple's prior magazine effort, Apple Newsstand, was ultimately unsuccessful. Unlimited access to magazine content might lure more readers, but whether this new venture will succeed remains to be seen.

‌Apple News‌+ had more than 200,000 subscribers following its March introduction, but all of those accounts are still on the one-month free trial that's available and are not yet paying customers.

Have you signed up for ‌Apple News‌+ and do you plan to keep the subscription? Let us know in the comments, and if you have questions about ‌Apple News‌+, make sure to check out our Apple News+ guide.

Top Rated Comments

jclo Avatar
41 months ago
Things like these aren’t limited to News+ or Apple in general; there seems to be this annoying-as-**** trend of automation/curation or personalized recommendations that make a UI really difficult for the end user.

It’s hard to anticipate what will show up where, for how long, how to get rid of something, and how to add something in the first place.
Yes. And what frustrates me is that the automatic recommendations are SO OFF. Mine's recommending content on cooking with kids (do not care), sports (care even less), family activities (have no kids), stylish doggy poop bags (do not have a dog), and the woman who styled Justin Bieber (does anyone care???).
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
41 months ago
Not worth it for me, I don’t even use the free Apple news app. But that’s just me.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
magicschoolbus Avatar
41 months ago
No way.

Drudge Report is free and provides all of the news I need.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thadoggfather Avatar
41 months ago
It's going to be a catastrophic failure. Calling it now. Quote me down the road if you'd like.

All this 'curation' and yet the end result is the same as scraping news sites without discernment and regurgitating the content in a scattered UI... I don't feel like they've filtered out the crap which was the supposed original intention/sales pitch of 'curation' in the first place -- they've only enhanced it.

Apple should really stick with hardware.

Services have never been their strength and I dont see this changing that.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aston441 Avatar
41 months ago
I go out of my way to avoid any news except hardware tech news.

You'd have to pay ME to read it. And I'd charge a hell is a lot more then $10 a month to sludge through the garbage propaganda that masquerades as reporting these days.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbplayer5 Avatar
41 months ago
Just google the title to every story, and POOF, all of the stories for free.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...