By Dan Barrett
This morning Apple has released its News app into the Australian app store. The app is a customisable news feed reader that allows users the ability to follow news published to the sites they enjoy, while recommending other articles of interest.
Apple News is available to any Apple customer using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch updated to the current iOS9 operating system. It launched in the US in September.
Users opening the app for the first time are asked to select websites and topics of interest that are relevant to them. The process of selecting websites to follow will be familiar to anyone who has signed up to Apple’s recently launched Apple Music service. Once websites are selected, users are provided with a feed that updates anytime news is published. Users can then add any website that they are interested in manually.
In keeping with Apple’s philosophy of ensuring that their users’ personal data is kept private, the company advised its users that they are seeking to offer a personalised news experience while maintaining their users’ privacy. In a statement available on the Apple site, the technology company advises:
We understand that the articles you read are personal, so we designed News so your reading activity is not linked to other Apple services, and the data we collect is associated with an identifier specific to Apple News. Recommendations in For You are made based on the information stored on your device and are not collected or stored by Apple.
A number of Australian online mastheads have already signed up to the platform. The chief digital officer for Seven West Media, Clive Dickens, said, “With millions of Australian users, and mobile content consumption rising rapidly, Apple News is an opportunity to put Pacific Magazines’ brands and the brands of our clients and stakeholders in front of mobile first consumers.”
News Corp’s group director of digital product and development Alisa Bowen said, “We believe in engaging with audiences wherever they are, and Apple News is a great distribution and sampling opportunity for our journalism.
“The fact that third parties such as Apple want to feature original content brands on their apps is further proof, if it were needed, of the high quality engagement that our journalism provides.”
Australian titles already available on the Apple News app include news.com.au, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail, The Advertiser, The Australian Life, Confidential, Fox Sports, InStyle, Australian Women’s Weekly, Girlfriend and Bride To Be.