iOS 13.5.5 beta code reveals new Apple News+ Audio feature

Apple is introducing a unique new feature for Apple News+ for podcast-style content delivery within the platform. iOS 13.5.5 beta’s “Apple News+ Audio” feature reveals a new Audio tab which will provide recorded news articles and stories to subscribers.

An “Audio” tab will be added in Apple News app and feature selected audio stories. The company is currently seeking permission from publishers to create audio versions of articles and stories distributed on the News+ platform. Apple plans to use actors for reading various long-form pieces and make them available as audio stories.

Apple News
Source: 9to5Mac

Initial plans for this feature indicated that Apple will choose suitable articles itself. However, copyright issues made this impossible, necessitating some rethinking about the matter to avoid such concerns.

First Look at Audio Stories in Apple News+

A brief walkthrough from 9to5Mac shows the basic interface and available options in the Audio tab. The details imply that it will look similar to the Podcasts app, with recorded stories appearing in the media player in the same format as a podcast does. Users will have the option to:

  • Play/Pause
  • Rewind/Forward
  • Skip to Next Article
  • Redirect to Original Article
  • Access queue
  • Share Audio Story
  • Rearrange playback sequence

On top of that, while reading articles in the News app, users will see the “Listen” option for articles with an audio version. Non-subscribers will only be able to hear a snippet of the story, while subscribed News+ users will have access to all audio stories within the app. Based on its beta code, the feature may also support Siri.

Apple News

Apple’s approach with this new feature improves its chances to attract new subscribers as publishers on the platform are skeptical due to uninspiring revenues from News+. Users are turning to podcasts and other streaming services, which gives Apple an open approach to grab users’ attention with the option to listen instead of reading.

The feature is only seen in iOS 13.5.5 beta yet, but it can be expected to be available to the public soon.

Users can subscribe to Apple News+ for $9.99 a month from here. Check out 9to5Mac’s video below:

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