Flipboard CEO knocks Apple News for closed ecosystem, says product is 'living in the past'...

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 13
Flipboard CEO Mike McCue had a few choice words for segment competitor Apple News, describing Apple's news service as "living in the past" because it does not curate media, offers no social sharing integrations and lacks other features that would set it apart in the crowded space.




Speaking at the Code Media event on Tuesday, McCue addressed the immense pressure of competing against tech giant Apple.

"When you're an entrepreneur and you're competing with Apple, that's a pretty big deal" McCue said, adding Apple is "a partner and a competitor at the same time."

Flipboard launched eight years ago as an iOS app designed to aggregate and present internet content in a format readable on mobile devices. In the intervening years, the product has added curation, sharing and other features to stay ahead of the competition.

Apple News launched alongside iOS 9 in 2015 as a standalone Apple service that comes built-in on all iOS devices. The product features its own formatting and advertising system, both of which have been criticized for cloistering publishers and potentially stunting adoption. This walled garden approach might be a hassle for some, but it does allow for an extremely polished presentation that reaches tens of millions of installed users.

McCue took the opportunity to point out what he views as Apple News' flaws, while touting those same features in his own app.

"Apple News as a product is living in the past," McCue said. He added that the service lacks social sharing capabilities, said there's "no curation happening -- it's algorithmic," and pilloried the product as "another format that publishers have to adopt."

"We're not trying to create a closed ecosystem...and that's a big deal for publishers," McCue said.

According to the latest statistics, Apple News has gained at least 70 million monthly users in about two and a half years. Flipboard still leads, however, with 100 million readers per month.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    I don’t know much about FlipBoard or its CEO, but I can confidently say that I do not look at Apple News, at all. I go directly to the handful of sources — WSJ, NYT, The Guardian, AI, The Economist — I turn to every day and I have need for little else.

    I think Apple may have been way late to the news game anyway. And, given that they really have no way or desire to monetize it — either through ads or a subscription — it’s just not clear to me what purpose it really serves in the Apple ecosystem. Seems like a bit of wasted effort.
    muthuk_vanalingamxzu
  • Reply 2 of 60
    I don’t know much about FlipBoard or its CEO, but I can confidently say that I do not look at Apple News, at all. I go directly to the handful of sources — WSJ, NYT, The Guardian, AI, The Economist — I turn to every day and I have need for little else.

    I think Apple may have been way late to the news game anyway. And, given that they really have no way or desire to monetize it — either through ads or a subscription — it’s just not clear to me what purpose it really serves in the Apple ecosystem. Seems like a bit of wasted effort.
    It seems odd to me that you start off by saying you don’t look at Apple News, at all, but finish with that it seems like a wasted effort.  How can you make that assessment when you clearly state you don’t use Apple News?

    I get updates from Apple News every day and they typically include all the sources you mentioned above, but in one convenient app.  I don’t have to go to different apps or websites to see the same thing.  I, for one, am glad they provide the Apple News app.  I find it very useful.

    My wife used to use Flipboard all the time.  She still goes to it occasionally but she’s shifting to Apple News more and more.  I wonder if this is a general trend and Flipboard is starting to feel it.
    edited February 13 stevenozlollivershark5150mwhitespliff monkeybonobobrevenantgenovellemagman1979macseeker
  • Reply 3 of 60
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,035member
    I don’t know much about FlipBoard or its CEO, but I can confidently say that I do not look at Apple News, at all. I go directly to the handful of sources — WSJ, NYT, The Guardian, AI, The Economist — I turn to every day and I have need for little else.

    I think Apple may have been way late to the news game anyway. And, given that they really have no way or desire to monetize it — either through ads or a subscription — it’s just not clear to me what purpose it really serves in the Apple ecosystem. Seems like a bit of wasted effort.
    I get updates from Apple News every day and they typically include all the sources you mentioned above, but in one convenient app.  I don’t have to go to different apps or websites to see the same thing.  I, for one, am glad they provide the Apple News app.  I find it very useful.
    Same here. They seem to do a great job of pulling a variety of news from all sorts of sources. Everything Anant mentions plus others, most of which I likely wouldn't actively seek out on my own.

    Sometimes I'll notice something on FB's Trending sidebar or someone will post/share a link into into their feed, but Apple News seems to be the most well rounded of all the different news aggregates.

    I used Flipboard of a hot minute when it was first launched for the iPad years ago, but I didn't stick with it. The concept seemed great and the animations were nifty for its time but I can't recall getting better, more relevant, or well rounded news when I used it, but we're probably talking nearly a decade ago (I'm guessing) so who I can't judge what Flipboard is today in relation to Apple News.
    magman1979jahblade
  • Reply 4 of 60
    I don’t know much about FlipBoard or its CEO, but I can confidently say that I do not look at Apple News, at all. I go directly to the handful of sources — WSJ, NYT, The Guardian, AI, The Economist — I turn to every day and I have need for little else.

    I think Apple may have been way late to the news game anyway. And, given that they really have no way or desire to monetize it — either through ads or a subscription — it’s just not clear to me what purpose it really serves in the Apple ecosystem. Seems like a bit of wasted effort.
    It seems odd to me that you start off by saying you don’t look at Apple News, at all, but finish with that it seems like a wasted effort.  How can you make that assessment when you clearly state you don’t use Apple News?

    I get updates from Apple News every day and they typically include all the sources you mentioned above, but in one convenient app.  I don’t have to go to different apps or websites to see the same thing.  I, for one, am glad they provide the Apple News app.  I find it very useful.

    My wife used to use Flipboard all the time.  She still goes to it occasionally but she’s shifting to Apple News more and more.  I wonder if this is a general trend and Flipboard is starting to feel it.
    Oh it’s not that complicated. I should have mentioned that I tried it out for a week or so when it first came out. 

    I am glad you and your wife like it and use it. It’s not obvious to me that I get the breadth and depth of both news and opinion from AN as I do going to each of the five sources that mentioned, daily. 
  • Reply 5 of 60
    Since Apple News introduction, I haven't really touched Flipboard. Apple News is a top 3 app for me sometimes beating Safari and Youtube.
    edited February 13 macplusplusmike1djkfisherrandominternetpersonmdriftmeyerapplepieguy
  • Reply 6 of 60
    I think he is scared....much like Qualcom’s crying, weeee weeee weeee...
    just let us select where we take news if they are truly legit...
    mike1jahbladeaegean
  • Reply 7 of 60
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,884member
    Flipboard? Started eight years ago? Never heard of it till this article but I guess that’s how CEOs of irrelevant companies get attention these days... by criticizing Apple.
    mike1djkfisheraegean
  • Reply 8 of 60
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,035member
    lkrupp said:
    Flipboard? Started eight years ago? Never heard of it till this article but I guess that’s how CEOs of irrelevant companies get attention these days... by criticizing Apple.
    It was one of the most visually impressive apps when it first appeared.


    edited February 14
  • Reply 9 of 60
    chasmchasm Posts: 563member
    Apple New's lack on "social sharing" comes as a huge shock to ... Apple News, which, has does indeed have social sharing. I post stories from it to FB and Twitter several times a day, particularly because it allows me to easily share stories from sources that aren't often seen my typical FB or Twitter feed.

    For the record FlipBoard isn't "human curated" either. They hand-curate what publishers they work with and stories they feature, but algorithms take it from there. TIL the CEO of Flipboard doesn't actually know how his company works.

    I used to have Flipboard and Apple News, but one of them got deleted and other one I use every single day.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 10 of 60
    What’s flipboard?
    edited February 14 applepieguy
  • Reply 11 of 60
    chasmchasm Posts: 563member
    freerange said:
    Sorry but we like it just fine to keep all the bullshit fake news out like you find on Facebook. Unfortunately there is still one fake news organization in Apple’s offering, Fox.
    You can "dislike" a channel or individual story to help tune the algorithm to your preferences, but it is good to keep a few around that you ideologically disagree with; see what the other side thinks of things.

    I always smile when I see Fakes News in the trending stories: nine variations on "here's the new lie so-and-so is trying to push" or "this new government thing will hurt vulnerable people" from legit news sites, and one "Couple sues over exploding breadmaker" type story from Fakes, cuz they've got nothing else anymore.

    There are far more interesting and far more thoughtful conservative outlets, but to be fair they are much harder to find than they used to be.
    edited February 14 bonobobmacseekermuthuk_vanalingamroundaboutnow
  • Reply 12 of 60
    flip board became too annoying for me. happily using apple news, I just appreciated the layout.  interestingly enough-- I am really digging the olympic medal count.  apparently they think the Koreas might be reunited, there is a Korea listing, NK listing and a SK listing. (sorry the pics are huge, I do not know how to make them thumbnails.


  • Reply 13 of 60
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,035member
    revenant said:
    flip board became too annoying for me. happily using apple news, I just appreciated the layout.  interestingly enough-- I am really digging the olympic medal count.  apparently they think the Koreas might be reunited, there is a Korea listing, NK listing and a SK listing. (sorry the pics are huge, I do not know how to make them thumbnails.

    [images]
    It's not about the counties (politically) being united, but that NK and SK do have a join team event for the first time since their split, which is wonderful.

    edited February 14 revenant
  • Reply 14 of 60
    I don’t know much about FlipBoard or its CEO, but I can confidently say that I do not look at Apple News, at all. I go directly to the handful of sources — WSJ, NYT, The Guardian, AI, The Economist — I turn to every day and I have need for little else.

    I think Apple may have been way late to the news game anyway. And, given that they really have no way or desire to monetize it — either through ads or a subscription — it’s just not clear to me what purpose it really serves in the Apple ecosystem. Seems like a bit of wasted effort.
    It seems odd to me that you start off by saying you don’t look at Apple News, at all, but finish with that it seems like a wasted effort.  How can you make that assessment when you clearly state you don’t use Apple News?

    I get updates from Apple News every day and they typically include all the sources you mentioned above, but in one convenient app.  I don’t have to go to different apps or websites to see the same thing.  I, for one, am glad they provide the Apple News app.  I find it very useful.

    My wife used to use Flipboard all the time.  She still goes to it occasionally but she’s shifting to Apple News more and more.  I wonder if this is a general trend and Flipboard is starting to feel it.
    Oh it’s not that complicated. I should have mentioned that I tried it out for a week or so when it first came out. 

    I am glad you and your wife like it and use it. It’s not obvious to me that I get the breadth and depth of both news and opinion from AN as I do going to each of the five sources that mentioned, daily. 
    Apple News will allow you to did as deep as you want into any of those sources.  I too use it daily and had not even thought about it. That in itself speaks to the elegance of its design. AppleNews disappears and allows the content to take center stage. 
    Soli
  • Reply 15 of 60
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,506member
    Apple News is the first thing I check in the morning, and I look in regularly during the day. It’s one of Apple’s best app. 

    If the curation is algorithmic then it’s one of the best implementations I’ve seen. 

    No social media sharing? When I want the opinion of some random bod typing in his underpants then I’ll go to Facebook 
    applepieguy
  • Reply 16 of 60
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,035member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Apple News is the first thing I check in the morning, and I look in regularly during the day. It’s one of Apple’s best app. 

    If the curation is algorithmic then it’s one of the best implementations I’ve seen. 

    No social media sharing? When I want the opinion of some random bod typing in his underpants then I’ll go to Facebook 
    I never used Apple News when it first came out (unless I'm thinking of a different app), but now that it's part of the swipe right feature and I don't have to add specific, paid subscriptions it's one of the first things I look at.
  • Reply 17 of 60
    Who? What company? The CEO would be a lot better off liking his product to Apple News than criticizing it. It automatically makes me laugh. Nobody can really be negative with a company that has had the amount of success as Apple, unless you are truly a fool. You'd be far better off stating something you've learned than showing criticism.
  • Reply 18 of 60

    I think Apple News is a value-added service provided by Apple to iPhone and iPad users and not something they are trying to monetise.

    I haven't used Flipboard, but I assume it is an app meant to generate revenue for its owners. By that yardstick, I think they cannot be compared.

    McCue saying "we are the best, much better than Apple", is probably true if you compare Flipboard and Apple News, but I doubt Apple is having sleepless nights about it.

    That's how I see it, anyway.

    edited February 14 GeorgeBMacrandominternetperson
  • Reply 19 of 60
    lkrupp said:
    Flipboard? Started eight years ago? Never heard of it till this article but I guess that’s how CEOs of irrelevant companies get attention these days... by criticizing Apple.
    Same for me.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    Is Apple News subject to the same echo chamber effect that the facebook news feed has/did have?

    One advantage of going and finding the news yourself is the ability to establish different points of view. 

    I drop into Apple News occasionally if there's something interesting on my notifications screen but tbh I don't even know what or where the news app icon is.
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