How to use the News app on your iPhone or iPad
In a time when nearly all of the world’s news is available on the web, what’s the appeal of the News app under iOS 9?
In today’s world, we don’t just want to read “the news.” We want it delivered: Not tossed onto the digital porch like a newspaper, but curated, with articles that fit our interests. Apple’s News app isn’t the first one to do this—Flipboard has been a high-profile example of this model for quite awhile—but the company’s program has an advantage over all those in the App Store: It’s part of iOS and available to everyone with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in the United States (soon to be in Australia and the United Kingdom).
Get started with the News app
The first time you launch the News app, you need to tell it what you like to read. You do this by selecting channel and category favorites.
- Open the News app.
- On its initial screen, tap a few channels (specific outlets or publications) or general categories. Other topics, based on what you’ve selected already, appear at the bottom.
- Tap Continue when you feel you’ve chosen enough favorites. You can always add more later.
- Choose whether you want to receive emails containing news items by tapping Sign Me Up or Not Now.
- When you’re done, the app switches to the For You screen and presents articles from your selections.
If you use more than one iOS device, be sure to go to Settings > iCloud and turn on the News option for syncing your articles between them.
News is divided up into five sections:
- For You, which gives you a list of articles based off channels or genres you’ve selected and liked
- Favorites, a collection of all channels and genres you’ve added
- Explore, which displays other suggested channels and topics for you to peruse
- Search, to help you find new articles, channels, and genres
- Saved, which stores your reading history along with any articles you’ve saved for later reading
How to read articles in the News app
Reading articles that interest you is simple enough: You can either read selected articles for you from the Spotlight screen or pop into the News app itself.
You can open Spotlight by swiping right on your primary Home screen; snippets of important News articles will show up below all other Spotlight content. You can then tap on one to open it in the News app.
Within the News app, tap the For You tab, then select an article to open it. Or tap Favorites, tap a Channel, and then select an article. Tap the Back button (<) to return to the story list, or swipe left or right to read the previous or next story.
If you own an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, start the presses: A number of 3D Touch options are available for your devices. You can 3D Touch the News icon on your Home screen to jump directly to the For You screen or to one of your three most-visited channels; when viewing articles, you can also press on one to get a 3D Touch peek of its contents, and press harder to pop into the full article.
How to add new channels to Favorites
- Tap the Explore tab.
- Peruse the Suggested Channels and Suggested Topics groups and look for items that interest you. Or, under the Browse section of the screen, navigate through general topics to find what you’re looking for.
- Tap the Add (+) button to add the item to your Favorites collection.
A different option is to tap the Search button and type in keywords you’re looking for. After you find what you’re looking for, tap the Add (+) button to add any of the results to For You.
It’s also possible to add partner websites from outside of the News app. In Safari, for example, you can tap the Share button; if the website supports News, you’ll see an Add to News button in the share sheet that appears.
How to remove a channel or genre from Favorites
- Go to the Favorites tab.
- Tap the Edit button.
- Tap the X button in the corner of the channel or topic you want to remove.
On the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, you can use 3D Touch to streamline the process:
- Press a Favorite to peek at it.
- Slide up to view options.
- Tap the Remove from Favorites button.
What the “Like” button does, and how to Like a story
In order to better tailor articles for your tastes, the News app automatically takes stock of your favorite channels and what you read. You can further narrow your reading options by using the Like button: When you come across something you enjoy, tap the button (in the shape of a heart) at the bottom of the screen.
Alternatively, you can press and hold (or press for a peek and then slide up on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus) in the article list and choose Like from the options that appear.
You can’t actively dislike an article, but you can Mute channels from the For You screen by tapping and holding on articles from those channels (or using a 3D Touch gesture, then swiping up).
How to save articles and read them later
Don’t have time to read an article right now, or want to get back to a longer piece later in the day? Tap the Save button (the bookmark icon) to store it for future viewing. (You may need to tap the menu bar or scroll to the top of the screen to make the button visible, since it’s normally hidden while you’re reading.)
On a device with 3D Touch, you can peek at an article and save it for later without even loading the story:
- Press on an article to peek at it.
- Swipe up to reveal actions you can take.
- Tap Save.
When you want to resume reading any of the saved articles, tap the Saved tab and then select the article you wish to read. Saved articles are also available when your device is offline. To remove a story from the Saved screen, open it and tap the Save button again. Or, using 3D Touch, peek on the article and swipe up, then tap Don’t Save.
How to view and remove items from your reading history
You can return to any story you’ve ever opened in Apple News by going to your history screen. This contains all articles you’ve read within the News app. To do so:
- Tap the Saved tab.
- Tap the History button at the top of the screen.
- Tap an article to read it.
If there’s an article you’d prefer didn’t show up in your History, you can remove it by swiping left on the piece in question. This exposes the Delete button, which you can then tap; you can alternately swipe all the way to the left to delete the article in one stroke.
If you’d rather just clear everything from your previously read list, tap Clear History to remove all past article history.
How to open an News app article in Safari
If News isn’t rendering an article correctly—for example, if a video doesn’t appear—or you’d just rather read it in a web browser, you can send it off to Safari.
- When viewing an article, tap the Share button.
- Tap the Open in Safari button. The page then opens in the browser.
How to share articles
Sometimes the best part of reading the news is spreadin’ the news. There are three ways to do it:
- When viewing an article, tap the Share button to bring up the standard share sheet.
- From the list of articles, press and hold a headline and choose Share Story from the options that appear.
- On the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, press an article in a list to peek at it, and then slide up to reveal the Share Story button.
Each action gives you the option to send the article to someone via text, email, or social media. You can also add an article’s web address to the Reminders app, Notes app, or other apps that support text snippets.
How to report a concern to Apple’s News staff
If something about an article looks off—perhaps a video doesn’t play, it’s offensive, or mis-categorized—you can easily report a concern to Apple’s News department.
- Bring up the Share sheet using one of the previously mentioned methods.
- Tap the Report a Concern button.
- Tap a reason you don’t want to see the article.
- Explain why you’re reporting it.
- Tap Send.
How to adjust settings for the News app
While you can adjust the kinds of articles you want to read within the News app itself, adjusting other settings requires a trip to the Settings app.
Go to Settings > News if you want to change any of the following settings:
- Notifications: Choose how to receive and view notifications.
- Background App Refresh: If you’d prefer that News not fetch articles in the background when you’re not actively using the app, turn off this option.
- Cellular Data: Turn this option off if you want to use News only on Wi-Fi networks in order to limit the amount of cellular bandwidth you use.
- Show Story Previews: This option applies only to channels that are fed by RSS feeds. When it’s on (the default), you see a basic rendition of an article, much as if you were to use Safari’s Reader view. When the option is off, tapping an article loads the article’s complete Web page, extraneous graphics and all.
Questions about the News app?
Let us know and we’ll try to answer them.
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