Apple dumps Newsstand, takes on Facebook with Flipboard-like ‘News’ app

“Apple revamped its news service on Monday, making a play to take on Facebook as the two tech giants court readers and publishers to be the top platform for news,” Samuel Gibbs and Dominic Rushe report for The Guardian. “Media organisations including the Guardian, ESPN, the New York Times, Conde Nast, the Daily Mail and Hearst will produce content specifically designed for the new service, which will replace Newstand [sic], Apple’s current news app.”

“While content will be hosted and delivered on Apple’s platform, the publishers will own the content and control the format of articles. Publishers will also be able to sell premium ads through the app and keep the revenue,” Gibbs and Rushe report. “The service looks similar to Flipboard, an app that serves up news and other articles in a magazine-like format, and can be tailored to location as well as other preferences.”

“Apple’s Newsstand, launched in 2011, was heralded as the saviour of newspaper and magazine market in the internet-connected, smartphone and tablet era. The app saw digital magazine and newspaper revenue quadruple in the first year. But more recently publishers have complained that Newsstand hides content rather than highlights it. Many have switched to standalone apps dedicated to pulling content from websites, like the Guardian app, which has offered them greater visibility both on the iPad homescreen and within stores,” Gibbs and Rushe report. “Publishers will now sell apps directly within the App Store like any other app, with Apple continuing to take a 30% cut of revenue from subscriptions. Within the new Flipboard-style app, publishers participating and displaying content will keep 100% of revenue for ads they sell around their content. Apple will also help sell unsold ad slots for a fee, according to the tech site Re/code.

Read more in the full article here.

“Apple’s unveiling of a Flipboard-like news hub during its annual developer conference Monday didn’t come as a surprise to the team behind the now 5-year-old news reader and content curation app,” Andy Meek reports for BGR. “Not only has Flipboard ‘known about this product for a while,’ CEO Mike McCue told BGR, but his company has in fact had Apple’s attention more or less from day one. BGR has learned about a little known episode from Flipboard’s early days, for example, when Apple cofounder Steve Jobs himself reportedly visit the office of the Palo Alto-based company, where he was shown the product and left impressed by the design and polish.”

“Apple’s news product certainly looks and feels like Flipboard, in, for example, the way the user first populates it by tapping to select from an assortment of news outlets and topics, choices that are used to populate and personalize their news stream,” Meek reports. “Flipboard gets users started in a similar fashion, via the way they’re asked to pick from a list of topics that are used to curate their Flipboard experience. Flipboard diverges from Apple from there, though. McCue, for example, stresses that his product is ‘inherently social’ and that Flipboard ‘was built in a world after Facebook.'”

“McCue stresses that his company enjoys a close relationship with Apple, that it has the ear of CEO Tim Cook as well as senior VP Eddy Cue,” Meek reports. “He expects both companies to have a productive working relationship on into the future and diplomatically acknowledges his respect of Apple ‘as a company that makes amazing devices and an OS.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Flipboard CEO Mike McCue’s reaction is how companies should react to Apple’s moves, right Jean-Claude Biver, Daniel Ek, Ed Zander, Ed Colligan et al.?

Did anybody regularly use Newsstand? If so, are you going to miss it?

Flipboard users, are you excited to use Apple’s new News app?


  1. So all of my past issues and current magazines that are on Newsstand, National Geographic, Discover, British Archaeology, Scientific American Mind, Money, British History, Smithsonian . . . are all being trashed? I paid for them. I own them. I want them. Taking them away violates the contract I made with these publishers when I subscribed. If they go I get a class action against Apple.

    1. Technically speaking, you to do “own” the issues, but you own kind of perpetual license to have a copy. “Kind of” because there are loads of legalese in agreement you “OKed” that would allow publishers to pull back those issues. Anyway, either you have to get reimbursement, or keep the issues available.

    2. My understanding is that Apple’s News app will be flipboard and Yahoo News like but better. I didn’t hear anyone say that Newsstand would be shut down. After all, Newsstand is a completely different business model. I have several Newsstand subscriptions and hate to see it shut down but, life goes on.

    3. Newsstand will no longer be in iOS9 but all the apps (magazines) in it will. You can put them in a folder and call it Newsstand. Newsstand just takes all the magazine and newspaper apps and collects them in the Newsstand app but they are already standalone apps.

    1. I long ago stopped using Flipboard (when they got bought) and do not use any news reserving product owned by Google or Facebook because I reject the idea of them tracking my every click.

      The most exciting and positive thing to me about the coming Apple news app is that my privacy will be maintained. I really wish that instead of tracking my clicks I could just fill out a survey detailing my interests like I do when subscribing to professional magazines. That way I would see ads that interest me without seeing ads that irritate me because I know I have been profiled.

  2. Newsstand is still a thing, it’s just not a folder on your home screen. The “magazines” that appeared before just now display and open as apps. You can still build all that functionality into a new app and sell it the same way as before. Only difference now is that this is more like how I read the news online, newsstand was just a failed attempt to bring an outdated world (magazines) to a modern device.

  3. I used newsstand for a while but it became too much work to go from newspaper to newspaper. I prefer something as simple as google/bing/yahoo news.

    i was excited to see Apple’s new app. i’m sure i will use it everyday, throughout the day. And I am passing along this information to my small town newspaper in the hopes they decide to join in. I want small town newspapers to make it. (and big town newspaper to make it too.)

    Way to go Apple!

    Oh, and i’m happy to hear you might be coming out with a smallish new iPhone in the next iteration. That will be wonderful.

  4. I should add, I don’t like using google, for the obvious reasons. but darn, so far i like their news aggregation app and their search. it kicks butt.

    So, Apple, it looks like you might have solved my news addiction with your new NEWS, now keep working on SEARCH for me. I know you are, but hurry up! 😉

  5. great, so now everyone will only get the news that agrees with their preconceived notions?

    a world where your exposure to new ideas is artificially narrowed by a facebook-like alogrithym strikes me as completely bonkers.

    also, i find it extremely hard to believe that Apple doesn’t want to know about you but they still run ads on iOS and are making Siri & Spotlight every bit as intrusive as Google is. how exactly does Apple expect to do this without monitoring all the music you listen to, the books you read, and the sites you visit? If Facebook Google and the NSA have assumed the positions of Big Brothers, then how is it that Apple gets a free pass for providing identical services using the same datamining techniques?

    1. As opposed to Fox News? I think you will find, if you look at all, that all news services cater to their consumers. People want stories that reinforce their own viewpoints; for example, I am not writing this on AndroidDailyNews. Newspapers, television, etc., learned this long ago: that is why several different papers exist in larger cities, why the newsstand is covered with diverse magazines, and why many news channels exist on TV.

      Apple is more trusted than Google, Yahoo or the NSA, because they say they don’t eavesdrop (but we all know Apple lies), and it good bet that the data will go nowhere else. Apple won’t give it away; Apple does NOTHING for free. Selling that data would greatly harm Apple’s reputation. And the most important reason for confidence: Apple shares no information about anything with anyone ever! Secrecy is job #1.

  6. Flipboard got to messy for me. I prefer Zite, which is awesome and exactly what I want, but stupid Flipboard went and bought it, so I’m sure it’s demise is coming soon. I’m excited to see how Apple’s News app works. I even downloaded iOS 9 beta yesterday specifically to try News, but it’s not in the Beta yet.

    1. Completely agree with you – I love using Zite. Use it daily. A great layout with fluid scrolling through the chosen topic-stories. But I loathe FlipBoard, particular after it purchased Zite and discontinued updates for it. As soon as I saw Apple’s presentation of their new and upcoming News app I thought “this is what Zite could’ve become with regular updates and a few more features; looks like FlipBoard is in trouble”.

      I hate saying it but I think FlipBoard deserves whatever it gets, in the way of people abandoning the app and using what seems a much better Apple alternative. Can’t wait to start using it!

  7. When I was an Apple reseller in the early 90’s I saw a beta of a new application called AppleSearch. In the dialup pre browser days, it pulled news and information from different sources and displayed it in a newspaper like format. I was very excited about it, even though it constituted everything my main customer base, newspapers, feared. But it never saw daylight. I was just wondering what happened to it a few weeks ago. This News looks like what AppleSearch would be twenty years later, color, photos, speed. It would be nice to think this was the genesis, but then I sort of think no one at Apple would remember.

  8. I have three paid magazine subscriptions going in Newsstand and also receive the digital version of the IET’s monthly magazine. The app itself I’m not so worried about, but what’s going to happen to the back issues of those magazines that have gradually been accumulating on my iPad? I do sometimes go back and re-read articles, so don’t want to lose those.

    If Apple could answer that one I think I’d be much happier about this.

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