Apple on Monday introduced a slew of new services including Apple TV+, Apple Channels, a credit card and gaming service called Arcade, but only one is launching today: Apple News+.
Apple News+ provides bundled access to more than 300 magazines, as well as subscriptions to the Los Angeles Times and select content from The Wall Street Journal, for $9.99 per month.
It also includes all of the content that is already available in the standard Apple News app, such as free access to CNBC and hundreds of other sites and news outlets. In addition, the app provides access to content from outlets you subscribe to separately, such as The New York Times, which isn't included in the new Apple News+ bundle.
Apple News+ is based on another app called Texture, which offered similar functionality. Apple bought Texture last year, and appears to have integrated much of that service into Apple News+.
It's free for a month, and it's already available for iPhones and iPads. You just need to update to the latest software by going to Settings > Software Update.
Here's what it's like.
That's a taste of Apple News+. It's a really good deal for $9.99 a month if you find yourself buying more than one magazine a month anyway. And I'll probably keep paying for it, since the subscription to part of The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times is worth that price alone to me.
Plus, I really dig the way the magazines are formatted. It's fun to move through the stories and doesn't feel like Apple just stitched a bunch of pages together that you need to swipe through or zoom around on just to read.
But I don't know how many people actually buy magazines that often anymore or if this is really going to be a major new revenue stream for Apple. Right now, it feels light on the content I care most about, which is newspaper subscriptions. I pay separately for The New York Times and The Washington Post, for example. Those filter right into Apple News already, so I can find that content there, but they're not bundled inside the $9.99 subscription.
Try it. It's free for 30 days on iPhones and iPads, so there's really nothing to lose. Maybe I'll start reading more magazines again.