Turning inner space into outer space

March 31, 2019

Apple News only works well with the +

The message you get from Apple News is clear: unless you’re willing to pay for a subscription, don’t bother.

The epitome of this message came today in the form of a headline from the Wall Street Journal: Apple News+ is great for magazine lovers, but it’s not the future of news.

And right underneath it: an Apple News+ label.

In other words, we have a deep-dive story about Apple News+, but can only read it if we subscribe to Apple News+.

But maybe we don’t really need to, because so much is said in that headline that rings true.

Apple News (without the plus) is a collection of news and magazine stories, some of which are free and some of which are only available if you subscribe to Apple News+. The split is about half and half.

The free stuff is mostly news articles that you can find elsewhere — either on competing news apps or by going to websites.

The stuff you have to pay for is more exclusive. That article from the Wall Street Journal likely contains insights you won’t find elsewhere — at least not of the same high quality.

But it’s mostly magazine articles that demand a subscription. There are a lot of them, and they all look good. Gaining access ($12.99 in Canada, $9.99 in the U.S.) is an amazing bargain.

So if, as the Wall Street Journal says, you’re a magazine lover, paying for Apple News+ is a no-brainer.

Apple News (sans plus), on the other hand, will leave you unsatisfied and annoyed. You’re stuck with navigating around half the articles because you haven’t paid for them. And for the other half, well, there is much more satisfying way of discovering and reading them. It’s called Flipboard.