(Bloomberg Business) — Apple announced on Monday a news hub that draws content from such major media outlets as ESPN, the New York Times, Wired, and the Atlantic. The app provides a clean, consistent look and feel for articles coming from various news outlets. Articles can also integrate graphics, photos, and video. It is called, simply, News.
“News is smart, so the more I read, the better it gets at showing me stories I’m interested in,” says Susan Prescott of Apple. The app allows readers to select favorites, which are either specific publications or specific topics.
The app resembles Flipboard, a popular app that pulls content from users’ social media accounts and presents it as a sleek digital publication of its own, allowing people to read the links they’d see on Twitter in a kind of digital magazine. For years there has been speculation that Apple or Twitter would buy Flipboard. By building its own version, Apple is creating a way for people to start associating their news-reading routine with their phones, rather than with applications that are easily accessed through other smartphone platforms.
Flipboard Chief Executive Officer Mike McCue says the startup’s app is different from Apple’s because of its focus on social networks and sharing with friends. He says he isn’t worried about the competition. “We’ve had Google ship a supposed Flipboard killer; we’ve had Facebook do that with Facebook Paper; we’ve seen Yahoo! do that, and now Apple,” McCue said in an interview during Apple’s WWDC event. “We have a close partnership with Apple, and we’ve known about this for a while. We’ve talked about a few potential things we can do together in the future.” McCue declined to comment on any acquisition talks that may have occurred.