Apple News is the most popular news app in the UK, kinda

Apple News on iPad
Apple News on iPad (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple News is the number one news app in the UK by at least one metric.
  • More UK users open Apple News than any other app when looking to keep up on current affairs.
  • The BBC News app is the one that people spend more time in.

Apple News is the most popular news app in the UK in terms of users reached, but whether those people spend time in the app is another matter.

According to numbers shared by the Press Gazette, the Apple News app was used by 13.2 million people or around 27% of all internet users aged over 15 across the United Kingdom. The second-placed app was BBC News with more than 25% and 12.5 million users.

Things soon swap around when you look at how long those people spent in each app, however. The same report notes that 1.2 billion minutes were spent inside the Apple News app or around 93 minutes per person on avarege. Those figures were beaten handily by the BBC app and its 2.2 billion total minutes, or around 172 per person on average.

Beyond that it was News Tag and a collection of smaller offerings.

The third most popular news app by audience, video aggregator News Tag, reached a fraction of Apple News' or BBC News' audience (3.8m people - 8% reach). The Swedish-based app, which launched in 2015, allows users to build personalised news feeds based on topics of interest, region or language while donating to good causes.

Both Apple News and BBC News were the only two apps to reach an audience in double digits in terms of percentage.

Where Apple News and the BBC apps differ is in the source of their news. While the BBC app obviously includes news from the BBC, Apple News aggregates content from just about everywhere which gives it more content and a wider breadth of coverage.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.