With the arrival of iOS 9, Apple also launches its application for news, currently available only in the US. We tried it
Among the innovations foreseen in the latest update of iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, there is also News, the new app made by Cupertino in collaboration with some American newspapers for the use of news in mobility.
Much has been discussed about the project from at least two points of view: on the one hand, for the role that the big Silicon Valley companies have decided to attribute to themselves by actively entering the journalism and information sector and, on the other, the relationship that links this launch application with the Apple's decision to open to ad-blockers on its devices, causing many headaches for publishers.
Meanwhile, News available for American users. We put our hands – via smartphone – for a few hours, experimenting directly like Apple wants its iPhone and iPad users to read the news. At first glance, the application is very simple to use, but – at the same time – still very meager: if from another the really essential graphics, the reading experience s better than that guaranteed by most mobile sites or responsive, but certainly not revolutionary or totally different from what we are already used to.
Configuring for first use, the application asks you to choose between the available titles, a selection of which will be offered in the main screen, called For You. Here, the news is arranged in a rather static list, while the keys below – identical to those of iTunes for iPhone – lead to the different functions:Favorites, where you find all the headings you selected at the beginning, Explore, with a selection of themes, Search foris Save yourself, where the articles you will mark as such will end up, to read them when you prefer, even offline.
The loading of the articles, as well as the navigation between the sections, as promised by Apple itself, actually very fast and it takes much less time than it takes, for example, to upload an article by clicking on a link on Facebook or Twitter. The reading, then, always takes place inside the app.
Each newspaper offers its own articles taking up again the graphics of the original site and there is no real format that is the same for all or nothing really characterizing as it was, for example, in the case of the by now defunct Cir Cir app. The substantial difference, on the other hand, is made by those articles that are published taking full advantage of the potential of Apple News Format, the publication format developed by Apple with its publishing partners. In these cases, the reading experience actually takes off, thanks to animations, embedded elements and other very interesting and well-kept graphics.
A selection of these items available in Apple News Updatesin the section Favorite: the photo galleries of National Geographic or the cover story of Wired dedicated to Rashida Jones are perhaps the most emblematic examples of these potentials.
On this aspect, Apple aims very strongly and, in all respects, it is the aspect that makes the new application really special and that could effectively decree its success, convincing many other publishers to join the project, even the available advertising agreements are strong. At the moment, however, only some contents are published in this way, while the reading experience of the majority of articles certainly faithful to the style of the original publications, but does not particularly affect.
The other aspect, whose efficiency will be evaluated only after some time of use, instead the personalization: News will begin to offer content based on the choices of users and their preferences. Another rather interesting element, especially for i news junkie, therefore the possibility of being able to read all the updates of a particular head by accessing the newspaper screen and seeing the updates. And to be able to choose from numerous prestigious publications. Again, for, is it something to rip your clothes off?
The thematic exploration, for example, follows very closely what has already been offered by Flipboard, while sharing on social media, instead, takes place through the menof iOS, without introducing new standards for a function that instead crucial when it comes to the use of news, apart from allowing it share even without opening the articles. Nothing that pushes the experience beyond, as do apps like OneShot or Highly instead.
The feeling that News can actually become the most efficient solution for reading news on the move, at least from the reader's perspective, especially if we insist on the most innovative editorial possibilities. What is a new format for news in all respects, instead, instead all to see, as if it is actually good that this is his destiny.