Signs of Upcoming Audio Support for Apple News+ Found in iOS 13.5.5

Apple appears to be moving ahead with plans to provide Apple News+ users with an option to listen to audio stories of some news stories, according to details found in the iOS 13.5.5 beta.

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An ‌Apple News‌+ audio icon in the beta

An icon depicting an ‌Apple News‌+ Audio feature is present in the beta, along with some related imagery.

Apple is planning to offer a recap of the day's top stories, based on this wording found in the update: "Listen to a quick recap of today's top stories."

applenews2

An icon that might indicate when a news story is available with an audio version

A rumor earlier this month from Digiday first pointed toward Apple's work on audio versions of its news stories.

Over the course of the last several months, Apple has been asking publishers participating in ‌Apple News‌+ for permission to create audio versions of their stories.

applenews3

An icon displayed when an audio news recording ends

Apple plans to handle production costs and compensate publishers for the audio news recordings in the same way ‌Apple News‌+ payouts work. 50 percent of subscriber revenues go to publishers based on how much time subscribers spend with publishers' content in a 30-day stretch.

It's not clear when exactly Apple plans to roll out support for audio versions of news stories, but given that some of the assets for the feature are in iOS 13.5.5, it's a feature that could be coming soon.

Steve Moser contributed to this report.

Related Forum: iOS 13

Top Rated Comments

nutmac Avatar
52 months ago
IMO, Apple's Music, News, and TV apps suffer from bloat and lack of customizability. It feels like an endless stream of randomly categorized contents.

It's made worse by the fact that contents that require additional payment (e.g., subscription to either Apple or 3rd party) are sprinkled throughout the page.

Where's the coherent minimalist design language Apple is known for? NYTimes is far cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing.

I don't want audio contents to be another randomly inserted contents onto already crowded News interface.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lunarworks Avatar
52 months ago
This is something that would be useful for HomePod.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
52 months ago

This is something that would be useful for HomePod.
Great point. AppleNews+ for HomePod would help extend the value of the service.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
52 months ago

I would pay $10 a month for Apple News+ IF it removed all ads (why pay to keep seeing ads?) and it was actually giving you original content (currently the exclusive Apple News+ content is content you can get for free on that news source’s website... it’s not part of that new source’s paid content).
Access to subscription publications is the point of News+. I'm not sure where you live but here in Canada, we're getting The Toronto Star ($15/mo) and the Wallstreet Journal ($10/mo) in addition to dozens and dozens of magazines that you don't have access to without their own independent subscriptions. The News+ subscription pays for itself many times over.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sublunar Avatar
52 months ago
I can wholeheartedly support this if it's to help the visually impaired or blind for whole stories but is the likely interface (Siri) up to linking at all together? Even if it's just a curated audio version of the news headlines in soundbite form its a step ahead but Apple must keep the investment going and make it compelling.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gsmornot Avatar
52 months ago

This is great, for a number of reasons, but the cost of the subscription needs to come down. It simply is not worth $10 a month.
As someone that pays the monthly price I agree. I hope for a bundle one day that will wrap several services into one price. Music for the family, storage, News, AppleTV+ once the free wears off. One payment would be nice and maybe Acrade too which I am not currently willing to pay for. Not a bad looking service, just don't play games that much personally.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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