March 28, 2019
The Apple event covered Apple News+, the Apple Card, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+.
My friend Mark and I often text back and forth during these events. I told him that I was interested in the first two but didn't really understand the last two. He wrote back that we weren't really in the target demo for the arcade and tv announcements.
The card interests me. I'll probably mostly use it from my phone, but having a chip and pin physical card will be great when I'm traveling abroad.
The announcement I was most interested in was Apple News+.
I subscribe to and read several magazines on their list. I like their interface for news.
I've tried their magazine reader and there are many things I don't like about it.
It may not be them - it may be me. I don't think I'm in the target demo for this app. More on that later. First back to the things I don't like about the app.
I signed up and scanned through the list of magazines and chose several that I wanted to sample and downloaded some of the issues.
The one that appeared then and still appears under the "Reading Now" heading is not one that I selected or downloaded or started to read. I have no idea why News thinks I'm reading it now.
I wanted a list or stack of magazines that I could order so that when I finish this one I can move on to the next.
I want to be able to remove the download of a magazine once I've finished with it. There's no way to do this.
If I select a magazine, check it out, and decide it's not for me, I want to remove it from my list of magazines I'm interested in. The most prominent list is "Recent" and you can't remove from that.
By the way, I'd like to be able to remove from this list so that others can't see magazines that I might consider a guilty pleasure.
The reading experience is nice. On the iPad the National Geographic was beautiful and all of the magazines were easy to read and navigate.
Then I read an article by Jim Dalrymple Apple News+: I'm liking it and realized that the magazine app might not be designed for magazine readers.
On the one hand, that makes sense because if you take those of us who pay for several magazine subscriptions and give them to us for less money for which the magazine makes even less - that could kill the already hurting magazine business.
But what if News+ isn't for magazine subscribers any more than iTunes is for people who used to love to listen to music while reading the liner notes.
Jim writes that News+ exposes him to articles and authors independent of their magazines.
News+ gives you cross-cutting access to the stories and storytellers you want.
I still don't think that's good for the long term health of magazines. It is particularly bad for magazines that are theme based - in the same way music streaming services aren't good for concept albums.
Jim ignores the list of magazines and just selects the stories that are of interest to him. At the bottom of these stories are two buttons. One takes you to the magazine from which the story is taken and the other takes you to the "Next" story. This "Next" story is from aa different magazine.
Jim's article pointed me to something that should have been obvious to me from the naming of the service.
News+ is not an evolution of the old Newsstand app. It is an evolution of the News app.
A day ago I was going to cancel my subscription. Now I think I'll wait a bit to see if the way I read magazines changes and if I like this change.
Not being able to organize my magazines and not being able to delete downloads I don't need anymore still bother me. They could both be fixed.
But maybe it's me that needs to change.