What you need to know
- Safari will now point you to the News app in iOS 14.
- It'll do so when viewing an article from a News+ participating publisher.
- It is unclear if the publisher can disable this feature.
Reported by AppleInsider, Apple has made a change in the latest iOS 14 beta that directs users to the News app when viewing a publisher's website when that publisher is part of Apple News+.
Specifically, Smart Banners now prompt users to open stories in the Apple News app, at least for News+ partners currently using the API. As implemented in iOS 13, the Smart App Banner framework allows developers to prompt users to download their third-party apps from the App Store, or to open a corresponding link from Safari.
In the latest iOS 14 beta, the Smart Banner API seems to direct users to the Apple News app when they are on a publisher's website in Safari. It is currently unclear if the developer can choose to, instead of calling a Smart Banner for the News app, prompt the user to download the publisher's app.
In the most up-to-date iOS 14 beta, the Smart Banner API appears to detect News+ partner web domains, which triggers display of the modified banner. Smart Banner code on affected pages is unchanged, suggesting that it's a change to the way the banners handle publisher URLs. As mentioned, the new banner only shows up for publications that participate in Apple News+. Developers may be able to control which banner appears to users — Apple News or App Store download — though that isn't clear at this point.
This is Apple's latest feature that drives users to its News app. Back in August, it was discovered that Apple News+ in iOS 14 will open all article links in the News app. This means that all links, when pointing to an Apple News+ participating publisher, will now open in the News app rather than on the publisher's website. That move, in particular, has drawn a mixed response from readers and publishers alike.