Apple snuck a small change to Apple News+ in its latest batch of Mac and mobile software updates. But while the change itself was relatively minor, it’s undoubtedly a much-needed improvement.
In fact, Apple thought the improvement was so important that it detailed the change in a press release.
Here’s what you need to know.
How Apple improved News+ in iOS 12.3 and macOS 10.14.5
Basically, Apple News+ users can now access and follow their favorite magazines directly from the Apple News+ catalog. Keep in mind that you’ll need to download iOS 12.3 or macOS 10.14.5 to use the new feature.
For example, just head over to the Apple News+ tab on iPhone, iPad or Mac. Then, click one of the category icons at the top of this pane.
In the lower-right corner of each magazine, you should see a new blue “Follow” icon. Just click or tap on this icon to add that particular publication to your My Magazines section. Previously, this just wasn’t possible. Users had to manually search for publications using the standard Apple News search bar and “Heart” them.
Following publications using the new icon works just like “Hearting” them in the search bar. New issues from each publication will be automatically downloaded to your device, which makes it available for offline reading.
(It’s worth noting that these issues will only stick around until the next issue comes out. Then, the newest issue will be downloaded to your device while older issues will be removed.)
What’s next for Apple News+?
If you’ve been using Apple News+ since its launch earlier this year, you probably now that the platform isn’t as polished at it could be. In fact, some aspects of the news subscription service were downright rough.
But, of course, Apple is taking feedback from its users and is gradually refining the platform.
My Magazine Section Changes in Apple News+
One big area of improvement is a general overhaul of the My Magazines section. The change in iOS 12.3 and macOS 10.14.5 is nice, but there’s still no way to manually remove a magazine directly from the My Magazines section.
Apple would also do well to add more premium publications to its Apple News+ roster — particularly on the legacy newspapers side of things. Some notable holdouts, currently, include The Washington Post and The New York Times.
While Apple did try to negotiate with both publications, it ultimately failed to get them on board. That’s largely because Apple demands a fairly big cut of subscription revenue and publishers across the board still don’t make tons of cash off of Apple News.
Still, Apple News+ is in its infancy — and Apple likely has big plans for the platform. It’s certain that new features and improvements will show up on the app. We’re just not sure when they will.
On the other hand, if Apple has any major changes to Apple News+, it’s likely to unveil them at its Worldwide Developers Conference alongside other updates to iOS and macOS.
WWDC ’19 is currently scheduled to kick off with a keynote event on Monday, June 3. The keynote will probably take place at 10 a.m.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.