Apple News

David Sparks wrote a post about Apple News today, basically saying what I’ve been thinking myself for a few weeks now. Apple News has come a long way.

One huge thing for me is that the sources of news represented in the app are much better than they were when News launched in September of 2015.

Even when I checked the app the following year, I still noticed that most news was sourced from blogs and news sites that I would never have viewed as anything more than mediocre for their given topic. The fact that every topic I was interested in was missing any sources I could trust or enjoy reading made Apple News unpalatable to me. And so I ignored it for a long time, and relied on Flipboard instead.

Sometime last year though, I looked at the News app again and realized something: while I wasn’t watching, Apple had either cleverly or accidentally transformed it into a really good source of information. Not only does it look better, it has a solid majority of decent articles from respectable sources. I never thought I’d say this, but I really think it’s better than Flipboard now. Coming from me, that’s almost as big a reversal as me suddenly finding out I like Samsung phones.1

One thing Flipboard still does better: it allows me to curate magazines and flip articles of interest to me into them. I use this for two reasons, one being for my own future reference, and the other one being the sharing aspect.

The downside to Flipboard’s sharing, however, is the fact that they allow comments. I often post things without judgement, and the wind up with people ranting at me because they don’t like some political position the article assumes. Life’s too short. I’ve blocked a lot of angry men on Flipboard.

With Apple News, that’s not a problem. You can like things, bookmark them, and use them to help teach News what kind of articles you might want to see, but there’s no commenting and no dreary rage-fueled rants by people who think freedom of expression means that everyone has to listen. I like that about it.

If, like me, you found Apple News to be a sorely substandard product at (or after) its introduction and haven’t bothered with it for awhile, try it again. You may find yourself having to admit that sometimes things do get better.

  1. That’s never going to happen.