iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur direct web links to Apple News app, bypass publisher sites

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in General Discussion
Users of Apple's upcoming operating systems will be redirected to the Apple News app when clicking on links from participating Apple News+ publishers, bypassing those publications' websites.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The setting, which is enabled by default in iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, is an Apple News+ feature, meaning only users with an active subscription to Apple's premium news service will see it.

Tony Haile, founder of news service Scroll, first spotted the new feature. In a tweet Monday, he said that Apple's new operating systems are "intercepting traffic" from publisher websites.

Woah, I wonder how many publishers in Apple News+ realize that the new iOS14 and MacOS Big Sur are by default intercepting traffic to their sites and sending it to the Apple News app instead. pic.twitter.com/k4PQG9mE7M

-- Tony Haile (@arctictony)


As TechCrunch notes, the functionality appears to be an attempt at making Apple News+ more user-friendly, as the service doesn't technically grant access to articles behind paywalls on a publisher's website. Haile, however, said that the feature "directly cannibalizes a publishers' core subscription audience."

In a statement, Apple said that the change "offers subscribers seamless access to the content that is part of their News+ subscription right in the News app or publisher app, as well as providing publishers with increased engagement and revenue opportunities on Apple News."

The company also points out that the behavior can be disabled in News settings on iOS and macOS.

There's a good chance that many publishers won't be happy about the change, even if it can be disabled. Many prominent news organizations have refused to participate in Apple News+, and The New York Times recently left Apple News altogether because the platform didn't "align with its strategy of building direct relationships with paying readers."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Well, thanks for the heads up. I’ll obviously be disabling THAT setting.
    twokatmewrazorpit
  • Reply 2 of 21
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Wouldn't mind if Apple News was a lot better.

    *Haven't used it in 2 years so maybe it is better now.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    So the way I read this, is if I subscribe to Apple News+ but not the publisher directly it will
    open up the article that is behind the publishers paywall in Apple News
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 21
    So the way I read this, is if I subscribe to Apple News+ but not the publisher directly it will
    open up the article that is behind the publishers paywall in Apple News
    Yeah I first noticed that I was getting a note at the top to open an article behind the paywall in Apple News+, which is obviously a great win, but it stopped working all of a sudden today. Strangely it still works on Big Sur,

    On a side note, whether or not publishers are happy about this feature, it drives me crazy that for example I do directly pay for access to a newspaper AND pay for Apple News+ That grants access, BUT the publisher site constantly makes me login. Having Apple make this easier is a good thing for the user.
    Beatstwokatmew
  • Reply 5 of 21
    h4y3sh4y3s Posts: 83member
    Apple News interface trumps most publishers, but wish it offered LANDSCAPE viewing. 
  • Reply 6 of 21
    Apple News is an inferior product that is better at stealing from content producers than anything else. Cutting out the websites of the content producers is pretty low. It's akin to stealing from them since those stolen page views have impact far beyond where a person goes to read a complete article.

    If you are looking for aggregator there are several newsreaders that do a much better job using RSS feeds. I gave Apple News a shot and rejected it after a fair trial of several months. Aside from the unfair economic impact on content producers, it is weak on available sources and the app is not as customizable as anyone looking for more than blurb needs.

    I use news blur as a reader. It is the best one out there since Google Reader was killed off by the Mountain View behemoth. I don't need or want someone else to curate the news for me.
    Grayeagleols
  • Reply 7 of 21
    I've never used Apple News, and do NOT lan to do so. If it screws umps paid subscriptions to national and international papers, I'll be royally irked - - and to the point f giving it to my lawyer as a forced theft.

  • Reply 8 of 21
    dysamoria said:
    Well, thanks for the heads up. I’ll obviously be disabling THAT setting.
    If you subscribe to Apple News+ why would you turn that feature off? That doesn’t seem obvious to me. 

    I don’t subscribe to AN+  Sometimes I get links in an email for a publication I subscribe to that will open in AN. Other times I’ll get a link forwarded to me for an article from the same publication and it will open in the website for that service. To me, viewing on the website is worse than viewing the same article in AN and I would like it more if the article opened in AN. 
  • Reply 9 of 21
    Grayeagle said:
    I've never used Apple News, and do NOT lan to do so. If it screws umps paid subscriptions to national and international papers, I'll be royally irked - - and to the point f giving it to my lawyer as a forced theft.

    LOL, whatever. Did you even read the article? It only works for people who pay for AN+ and there’s a setting to turn it off. 

    BTW, I have paid subscriptions for a couple of publications and they work fine integrating with AN. Frequently those articles show up inside AN as only available with AN+ but since I already subscribe to that particular publication and am signed into it in AN all the articles work for me. 

    But contact your lawyer if it makes you feel better. 
    twokatmew
  • Reply 10 of 21
    dysamoria said:
    Well, thanks for the heads up. I’ll obviously be disabling THAT setting.
    If you subscribe to Apple News+ why would you turn that feature off? That doesn’t seem obvious to me. 

    I don’t subscribe to AN+  Sometimes I get links in an email for a publication I subscribe to that will open in AN. Other times I’ll get a link forwarded to me for an article from the same publication and it will open in the website for that service. To me, viewing on the website is worse than viewing the same article in AN and I would like it more if the article opened in AN. 
    I do subscribe to Apple News+ and at first the jump from the website to AN+ was a surprise.  I’m used to it and it’s no big deal for me as I pay for it anyway.  I’ll read what I want.  I have had an issue before (don’t know if it’s now fixed) when I sent the article directly from AN+ to a non-subscriber and they couldn’t read it.  If they don’t subscribe, I’d expect them to get the original site and their paywall (if present).  I just attempted to access the same website he showed (The Atlantic) and it displayed in Safari as expected - no redirection.  Until the official iOS 14 is out there’s no point in starting something that may not see the light of day.
    edited August 2020 Rayz2016twokatmew
  • Reply 11 of 21
    Anilu_777 said:
    dysamoria said:
    Well, thanks for the heads up. I’ll obviously be disabling THAT setting.
    If you subscribe to Apple News+ why would you turn that feature off? That doesn’t seem obvious to me. 

    I don’t subscribe to AN+  Sometimes I get links in an email for a publication I subscribe to that will open in AN. Other times I’ll get a link forwarded to me for an article from the same publication and it will open in the website for that service. To me, viewing on the website is worse than viewing the same article in AN and I would like it more if the article opened in AN. 
    I do subscribe to Apple News+ and at first the jump from the website to AN+ was a surprise.  I’m used to it and it’s no big deal for me as I pay for it anyway.  I’ll read what I want.  I have had an issue before (don’t know if it’s now fixed) when I sent the article directly from AN+ to a non-subscriber and they couldn’t read it.  If they don’t subscribe, I’d expect them to get the original site and their paywall (if present).  I just attempted to access the same website he showed (The Atlantic) and it displayed in Safari as expected - no redirection.  Until the official iOS 14 is out there’s no point in starting something that may not see the light of day.
    Interesting. I know in the past I’ve sent a link directly from inside Apple News to a friend who has an Android phone and the link opened on the appropriate website for him. Like you, that is the behavior I would expect.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,289member
    I hope they keep it, I am happier the News+ bypassing publisher it makes the experience more cohesive to me. Really enjoy News+ especially during isolation period. Plenty of reading materials to occupy my time.
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 13 of 21
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Nice idea, but I think it should off by default. I think if you start in a web browser, most people would expect a link to keep you in a web browser, unless the link says ‘Read in Apple News”. 


    crowleygatorguy
  • Reply 14 of 21
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Just use citizenfreepress.com and bypass the censorship. Not only that but you sometimes get additional insight on a story by reading the comments section. Unless of course the links are to a CNN, MSNBC, etc.. They turn the comments off.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,385member
    Good. Say what you with about this benefitting Apple, but Apple is always primarily about the user experience, and it benefits the shit out of most consumers too. 

    Instead of being directed to a shitty looking site with ads, pop-ups about cookies, tracking, subscriptions, poor formatting, etc- You get directed to an article that is devoid of all that cruft, that is PERFECTLY formatted for your device, attractive, and has native features in terms of sharing, adding to favorites, etc. Apple News is a fantastic reading experience. 
  • Reply 16 of 21
    slurpy said:
    Good. Say what you with about this benefitting Apple, but Apple is always primarily about the user experience, and it benefits the shit out of most consumers too. 

    Instead of being directed to a shitty looking site with ads, pop-ups about cookies, tracking, subscriptions, poor formatting, etc- You get directed to an article that is devoid of all that cruft, that is PERFECTLY formatted for your device, attractive, and has native features in terms of sharing, adding to favorites, etc. Apple News is a fantastic reading experience.

    I agree. ^^^
    I would also imagine that articles referred to Apple News+ from a link will monetize to the publisher. The loss to the publisher would be Ad traffic (increasingly blocked with Ad blockers) and tracking data (tracking that will soon be blocked by the user with Safari). 

  • Reply 17 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Nice idea, but I think it should off by default. I think if you start in a web browser, most people would expect a link to keep you in a web browser, unless the link says ‘Read in Apple News”. 


    I agree.  Not a fan of websites that open apps without asking me.
    razorpit
  • Reply 18 of 21
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,450member
    If it smells like a monopoly, redirects you browser to it's own services then it's not a duck it's a monopoly. 
  • Reply 19 of 21
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,289member
    spice-boy said:
    If it smells like a monopoly, redirects you browser to it's own services then it's not a duck it's a monopoly. 
    But it's a platform not services, each publishers still get paid as per agreement. What they lost is the ability to insert annoying ads which they still do in their own platform even if you subscribed. And what we gain is more, a cohesive uniform experience across different publishers.
    edited August 2020
  • Reply 20 of 21
    slurpy said:
    Good. Say what you with about this benefitting Apple, but Apple is always primarily about the user experience, and it benefits the shit out of most consumers too. 

    Instead of being directed to a shitty looking site with ads, pop-ups about cookies, tracking, subscriptions, poor formatting, etc- You get directed to an article that is devoid of all that cruft, that is PERFECTLY formatted for your device, attractive, and has native features in terms of sharing, adding to favorites, etc. Apple News is a fantastic reading experience.

    I agree. ^^^
    I would also imagine that articles referred to Apple News+ from a link will monetize to the publisher. The loss to the publisher would be Ad traffic (increasingly blocked with Ad blockers) and tracking data (tracking that will soon be blocked by the user with Safari). 

    I agree, too. I’ve been an AN+ subscriber for a long time now and love that every story I go to is perfectly formatted and like Slurpy mentioned, is easy to share, rather than having to go to 50 different websites with 50 different user experiences with pop ups and stupid ads all over the place. It’s also great for saving articles you’d like to read later because of current time constraints instead of cluttering up the Bookmarks tab with a bunch of different websites. 

    And I absolutely love that I get access to all the magazines I like to read, as well. Rather than paying for all of those separately. 

    As with everything else Apple, just a great user experience all around. (Except maybe for FaceID  >:) )
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