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Some Publishers Unhappy With Apple News+ Launch and Lack of Help From Apple

Some publishers who have joined Apple News+ are unhappy with the launch of the service and have shared details on some "early headaches" with media site Digiday.

When encouraging publications to sign up, Apple promised design resources and templates for customizing content for the Apple News format, but as it turns out, Apple is shutting out some smaller publications and "playing favorites" with larger publishers.


All participating publishers have been provided with an email address for sending pitches for design help, but a smaller group of publishers has been provided with access to a private Slack channel.
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. "They're basically playing favorites," that first source said. "It always seems to be good for the big guys, but not for the rest of us."
Apple has not provided Apple-designed article or content templates to publishers and has "largely outsourced" templates to vendors, which has resulted in bugs and other issues, along with much more work for publishers.

Magazine publishers need to use tools to scan PDFs and convert them into individual articles and advertisements, but the technology is said to be so buggy that each issue needs to be "effectively copy- and design-edited all over again."

Smaller magazines that don't have the resources for these full redesigns need to either invest time and money anyway or submit a PDF instead. A lot of the content within Apple News+ at the current time is PDF-based, which does not make for the greatest user reading experience.

Publishers are also said to be frustrated with the "uneven user experience" in Apple News with the split between PDFs and the new Apple News format. "You think of Apple, and they're so design-conscious," said one publisher. "This doesn't feel like that at all."

According to Digiday, the publishers that it spoke to said that the flaws in Apple News+ do not "bode well for its long-term future" unless Apple adapts its approach and makes some key changes to the service.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Apple News+ users have also expressed frustration with the service, and at MacRumors we've heard numerous complaints from Apple customers confused by the unintuitive user interface and unhappy with the lack of features.



Top Rated Comments

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19 weeks ago
there you have it, the new apple under tim cook, but we are trolls and haters, i remember apple used to be real good at costumer support but just like everything else in apple, even that has declined, but of course that doesn’t have to do nothing with apple leadership, right. so not only the service sucks but also the support, welcome to the new apple, we only care about taking your money, after that you are in your own

things will have to go bad and from bad to worse untill we finally get rid of tim so then things can go back to be good once again

oh yes also cool because mr cook is not cool at all

the men simply kills the asmosphere with his precense
Rating: 51 Votes
19 weeks ago
The quality of apples products and services have declined over the last couple of years. It's truly a shame, I was a hardened apple fan from 2005 - 2015. Now the only thing that continues to be top level are the damn prices.
Rating: 44 Votes
19 weeks ago
Apple playing favorites...shocking.
Rating: 31 Votes
19 weeks ago
I already canceled my trial. Absolutely horrible app/service/content/etc. Does not take advantage of devices well.
Rating: 20 Votes
19 weeks ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2019/04/15/some-apple-news-plus-publishers-unhappy/')
...Apple has not provided Apple-designed article or content templates to publishers and has "largely outsourced" templates to vendors, which has resulted in bugs and other issues, along with much more work for publishers."


That sums up just about everything that has gone wrong with Apple lately. They have the arrogance to try and claim to have improved the magazine reading experience, but leave the most important work off to some unknown 3rd party vendor because they're too cheap to do it themselves.

This explains their rationale behind removing functional ports from the MBs. Pat yourself on the back for a thin design... and then undercut your own design aesthetic by making users purchase ugly dongles because you're too cheap to include ports.
Rating: 14 Votes
19 weeks ago
I subscribed for two days and then promptly unsubscribed. They are competing with free news services, cheap magazine subscriptions, and other content in the space. So 9.99 is the cost of a yearly magazine subscription. I would need to read 12 magazines to really get value out of the service.
Rating: 13 Votes
19 weeks ago

I subscribed for two days and then promptly unsubscribed. They are competing with free news services, cheap magazine subscriptions, and other content in the space. So 9.99 is the cost of a yearly magazine subscription. I would need to read 12 magazines to really get value out of the service.


Agreed … I don't see how Apple will make a paid news/publication service survive with so much free content across the Internet. Heck, many people get their news in 140 character bytes from Twitter anyway :rolleyes:
Rating: 10 Votes
19 weeks ago
Apple News+ did one good thing for me - helped me read a forum post that led me to Readly, which has literally 10 times as many magazines (including a few I actually read) compared to News+ for the same price.
Rating: 9 Votes
19 weeks ago
From a customer point of view, I'm not impressed.

First, their subscription doesn't work the same way others do, for instance Apple Music. When I signed up for the 30 day trial, I went and cancelled it right away, expecting it to still be good for the 30 day period, and not auto-renew at the end. Instead, it cancelled immediately. There was no further offer of a trial, only to sign up.

I signed up with another family member's account, and got the trial again because of family sharing.

So far, I can't find back issues, at least for the magazines I like. The interface is confusing and inconsistent. I seem to have to go back to a magazine's table of contents to get to other parts of a magazine. But not always. I just don't understand how it works.

It needs to be like a book purchased in iBooks. The subscription (i.e. trial) should work the same as other Apple trials. I think it should be separate from News. Maybe a standalone iMagazine app. Back issues for everything.

Having said all that, I will not pay. Perhaps if the magazines had the ads removed, but I will not pay for content of any kind that is so heavy with ads. The ads should be paying for me to view. I don't care that "real" magazines are like that. This is the Internet. If you charge me for content on the Internet, remove the ads.

It's also a bit pricey. I'm not going to have a monthly Apple subscription for TV, another for Music, another for magazines, and another for some iCloud disk space -- all on top of the thousands I have paid for their devices.

I believe that it is this News+ thing that has made me realize that Apple has gone too far. I have now signed up for Spotify. It works on all my devices (e.g. no Apple Music on Alexa in Canada). Google Drive for my storage - I can share files or folders to people, the free allotment is bigger, and the prices much more reasonable if expanding. And I have NOT bought an iPhone XS or XR. The prices are just too much now.

If I need a magazine, I'll figure something out.
Rating: 8 Votes
19 weeks ago
Tim Cook is the Steve Ballmer of Apple. Good enough for profit but has absolutely no idea what he's doing.

He's unfit to lead Apple.
Rating: 8 Votes

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