Last month it was discovered that whenever users click on a link from an Apple News+ publisher, the article opens within the Apple News app instead of the publisher’s website. The change although can be turned off was seen as a way for Apple to force users to its News+ service.
Apple says the “feature” is meant to provide users a “seamless experience”. Users who are subscribers of Apple News+ may want to go directly to the News app instead of visiting a publisher’s website. It’s a move by Apple to make the News app on iOS and macOS Big Sur a user’s central hub for news.
Now, as reported by AppleInsider, iOS 14 beta 7, released last week includes a change to the behavior of the Smart Banner API. In previous iOS versions, the smart banner would direct users to download the publisher’s own app and to continue their reading experience there. The latest beta changes that, now directing users to the Apple News app for publishers enlisted on News+.
AppleInsider notes the change is the API now being able to detect the URL domain for publishers in News+. The change will only work with publishers who use the API, which on iOS 13 would direct users to download their own app. Given this is a new change, Apple may allow developers to choose which banner appears, a banner to download their own app via the App Store, or to use Apple News+.