My iPhone and iPad are home to about a dozen different news applications. That includes everything from USAToday to CNN, from WST to NYT, and plenty in-between. I’m a news junkie. That means news apps, right?
Not so fast. Over time I have ended up using Flipboard on both because the aggregated news app gave me more sources in a single app. Then along came Apple’s own News app which has improved enough to compete against Flipboard. Based on improvements and my own increased usage, it appears Apple is serious about saving the news business.
Guess who else loves Apple’s News app? News publishers. Nearly every news shop which has a presence on the News app reports an increase in traffic to their websites thanks to Apple’s 1.3 billion iPhones and iPads in use around the world.
News itself is a highly curated news aggregator which tends to favor news from worthy sources as opposed to sensationalist news, fake news, or one-sided news. Now, by highly curated I mean Apple curates news sources, but you have options to personalize the news you receive.
Tap Browse Channels and Topics, find the channels and topics that you want to follow, then tap . You can also search for specific channels or topics in Search.
Unlike Flipboard, Apple News lets you save articles in a way somewhat similar to Instapaper and Pocket.
In the News app, you can save stories to read later—online or offline. Just swipe left on the story or tap , then tap Save.
This allows me to skim through headlines and summaries, grab what I want to read later, and have it available when I have the time. There’s even a way to get specific news notifications. From everything I’ve read, Apple loves News, publishers love News, iOS users love News. The app itself may not be enough to salvage the entire news industry, but it’s a start and it’s helping.
Google is in the news business. Again. This time with… insert drum roll here… Google News.
Google on the hundreds of millions of websites in the world:
It can feel impossible to keep up with the hundreds of thousands of tweets, tens of thousands of pages, and hundreds of hours of video that come online every single minute.
Remember, Google’s playful and colorful logo belies the fact that it is a corporate entity– and advertising company– that often seems devoid of human activity, consisting of algorithms designed to copy everything Apple does.
Google News uses a new set of AI techniques to take a constant flow of information as it hits the web, analyze it in real time and organize it into storylines. This approach means Google News understands the people, places and things involved in a story as it evolves, and connects how they relate to one another.
Not content to compete on the operating system level, Google has ventured into hardware sales, and now into standard media– newspapers and magazines. Google News will launch on Android and iOS soon, but promised to hit over 100 countries while Apple’s News app is mostly English-based.
Let’s hope publishers around the world like Google News as much as English-speaking publishers like Apple News.