How iOS 16.5 will affect Apple News for publishers

April 11, 2023

Apple News has got a raft of new changes thanks to the iOS 16.5 update. Some of them are nice little quality-of-life changes for readers but many of them are a boon to publishers looking to increase their reach and discoverability on the popular news app.

So here are 3 changes to Apple News that every publisher should know about.

1. Persistent navigation bar

The most significant change of all is the new persistent navigation bar that will sit at the bottom of the app on mobile devices. This is a quality-of-life change that makes the user experience better for readers, but we think this will also help people remain more engaged on the app too.

By making it easier for readers to move around the Apple News app and access different areas such as the new Sports section, engagement and discoverability should be higher for publishers. As UX designers know, out of sight is out of mind. So now that these new icons are more visible, we expect readers will be navigating to them more often now.

iOS 16.5 brings updates to Apple News such as a persistent navigation bar at the bottom of the app on mobile.
iOS 16.5 brings updates to Apple News that should increase engagement and discoverability for publishers.

2. New Sports tab

Sports publishers are about to get more reach and traffic from Apple News mobile readers thanks to the Sports tab on the new sticky navbar. Last time Apple added a dedicated sports section on Apple News, some publishers saw up to 50% more unique views.

This change is an extension of that and we expect it will have similar effects so there really hasn’t been a better time to get your sports publication onto Apple News. Speak to the expert team at FlatPlan to find out how easily it can be done.

3. Publication date removed for magazines in Apple News+

This one only affects Apple News+ publishers but the new, persistent navbar means Apple has had to make changes to the magazine cover art that sits in the bottom-left corner.

There is no longer space to display the publication date of magazines in this area. We’re not sure yet how this will affect the performance of publishers on Apple News+ but one thought is that it could help evergreen content perform better by not tying it down to a specific period in time. It therefore allows publishers to resurface older content without worrying that readers will dismiss it simply because of its age.

Next steps...

No matter what stage you're at in your discovery of Apple News, we'll help you get the information you need to make the right decision for your media business.

  1. Are you an existing Apple News publisher?
    Our expert team can audit your existing Apple News channel to ensure your integration is stable, determine how optimised your channel is, and provide recommendations that will help you make the most of your setup. Book a free audit now.
  2. Looking to integrate Apple News with your media business?
    Leading publishers use FlatPlan to grow their media business by leveraging the power of Apple News. With help from reader engagement tools, we help publishers reach new readers, nurture them into loyal followers and then funnel them to first-party data strategies on owned properties. Book a free consultation now.
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More resources

The complete guide to publishing on Apple News

Discover everything you need to know about publishing to Apple News, and how you can use it to meet commercial goals.
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