How to Use the Apple News App

Get the news on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Apple

Apple's News app is a news reading app that aggregates published news from a variety of sources, like a better-formatted version of RSS. Apple launched the News app first on iOS before releasing the news app for macOS earlier this year, replacing the now-defunct Newsstand app on iOS. The News app presents stories that are most relevant to your personal interests while keeping you up to date on the rest of the world too.

The Apple News app is only available to users with an iCloud address in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Why Use the Apple News App?

The modern informed citizen of the world must get their news from a variety of sources. Any curious reader will quickly be overwhelmed by the number of sites they'd like to visit regularly.

It's this inconvenience that popularized RSS feeds. However, reading RSS can be like trying to sip from a firehose: it's hard to see the forest for the trees. This is what Apple News aims to fix.

Using a mix of human editors and article metrics, stories are sorted based on personal interest and subscribed feeds. Even if you don't follow the big sites, you're guaranteed to see the big news of the day in Apple News without getting lost in the weeds.

In short, Apple News is personalized and usable. It's also beautifully formatted, rendering even ad-heavy sites in clean, readable text with unintrusive ads.

Setting Up Apple News Channels

When you first open the News app, you'll be asked to select some of your favorite news sources, called "channels" within the app.

You can also follow topics like "Technology" rather than specific channels. Feel free to follow liberally; you can always unfollow channels later if you change your mind.

Working With Paid Subscriptions

If you already have paid subscriptions to a news outlet, Apple News can handle that too:

  • When you open a story for the channel, you'll be given the opportunity to subscribe at the top of the screen. Tap that, then sign in with your credentials to activate your subscription. This will propagate over all of your iCloud-connected devices.
  • You can also sign up for paid subscriptions through Apple News with an in-app purchase. These subscriptions are tied to your Apple ID and billed like an app subscription. You'll also get a message from the channel explaining how to create a login for the website so you can view your subscription in a browser.

Voting on Stories

Once you've set up your channels, you'll want to "vote" on stories that interest you to refine Apple News' understanding of your interest:

  • By swiping a story to the left, you can "Like" the story. Swiping to the right "Dislikes" the story. You can also tap the heart icons at the bottom of any news story to register your opinion. Apple News will then use this data point when suggesting news stories.
  • You can also register your opinion on an entire channel. With the channel's page open, tap the heart icons at the top of the screen. Tapping the "Like" heart will show you more stories from that channel in your feed. Tapping the "Dislike" heart will block news stories from that channel completely.
  • You can also save and share stories. When you share a story, it's shared via the standard iOS share sheet. Saved stories are tucked away at the bottom of the Channels tab for later reading.

Navigating Apple News

  • The app's main navigation is found at the bottom of the screen. The primary feed in Apple News, Today, shows the top stories of the day. The first section of Today, Top Stories, shows the top content of the day.

If you'd prefer top stories are only drawn from your selected channels, you can limit the sources by going to Settings > News > Restrict Stories in Today.

  • Scroll past the Top Stories section and you'll see Trending Stories. These stories are chosen by an algorithm based on their popularity with other readers.
  • Below Trending Stories is For You. These stories are selected algorithmically based on your likes and dislikes. This is where the most personalized stories are presented to you.
  • Finally, underneath For You, you'll see all your followed channels. Apple News shows five stories from each channel until it runs out of channels.
  • In the morning and evening, Apple News also produces the Digest. In this section, you'll find articles selected by human editors from Apple News.
  • Finally, the Channels tab configures your followed channels. You can remove or reorder channels with the Edit button in the upper right. To add more channels, scroll to the bottom of the list and tap the red button labeled Discover Channels & Topics.

Managing Apple News Notifications

If you follow a lot of channels, you'll get a lot of notifications. It's wise to disable News' notification sound, or you'll be buried in notification chimes.

You can also limit notifications to specific channels:

  1. Navigate to the Channels tab.

  2. Tap Manage Notifications at the bottom.

  3. Tap the toggles to permit or deny notification privileges to a specific channel.