Before the introduction of Apple News in iOS 9 I was a big user of Flipboard. I've used RSS readers in the past but I've always liked the casualness of being able to flip through the current news and add stories for reading later. I was pretty hooked on this way of working and when News launched I tried it straight away, it wasn't ready for prime time. It was slow and didn't seem to update correctly but with iOS 9.2 it had a big update making it useable and reliable.
Here is how to use Apple News, it's how I use it daily and gotten the most out of it. I’ve broken the article up by TAB I.e. the row at the bottom of the app once launched.
This is where (I think) Apple expects you to spend most of your time and in my case now that I’m curating my feed (more on this in a bit) I’m getting interesting information and discovering new sites.
Let’s start with curation, so in order to get the best experience it’s important to let the app know if you like/dislike certain articles and also to mute channels if you aren’t getting the posts you want to see (I’ve been doing this a lot). You can also report articles if for instance it’s old E.g. I saw a post from 3 years ago in my feed.
Doing this varies depending on the device, on iPhone you swipe on a story and on iPad you long press a story. Not sure why this inconsistency is in place but it would great if Apple could sort this one out in iOS 10.
I recommend that you use For You as your first port of call to look at what’s been going on in the day then as you read them like/dislike and mute any channels you don’t want to see content from. Try this for a few days and the app should start to recommend better content for you, it’s what happened with me and now I hardly have to do any muting at all.
I treat this page like I did Flipboard, a place that I can view all of my favourite creators content. Typically I use For You for those quick in the queue type scenarios but when I want to spend half an hour or so catching up I will use the Favourites tab to look at my favourite sites and read directly on the app.
Note: They are ordered in alphabetical order.
This tab is where you will find new content, it’s all recommended and featured channels that are curated by Apple. Large publishers split by category and curated feeds of stories E.g. Apple, Google, etc… I used this to start with and have found some great new content by adding some of the Featured Topics to my favourites.
Here’s where you will find your favourite content, just do a search for the site name or subject. When you search, the app breaks the results down by Topics and Channels. I searched for ‘Apple’ then worked my way down the list selecting (press +) them, they then get added to your Favourites tab.
This tab is broken down into
- Saved; here you will find posts that you have saved to read later (you do this by swiping right and tapping Save on the iPhone)
- History; a full history of every post that you have read
Should you use Apple News?
- If you are fully invested in RSS, then NO.
- If you are a Flipboard user who is invested in their Magazine concept, then NO.
- Anything else then YES, personally I have found the app has been getting better over time and as someone that was a heavy Flipboard user, once I had gotten my head around how the app worked I have been happy with the experience.
In fact I’m hoping that Apple bring News to the desktop in the next version of OS X.