November 18, 2016 Last Updated 4:01 pm

AppleNews adds event markers to Analytics section

Apple has also announced its upcoming holiday schedule, with Apple News support unavailable to publishers only on the holidays dates themselves

I think I have the same love-hate relationship to Apple News as I had to the Newsstand. There is so much wrong with it, yet still has potential. In the time I have used it, I found that the readership can be outrageously good… about one day in ten. Like the Newsstand, the only hope a small or independent publisher has is if the App Store team (or in this case, the Apple News team, whoever that is) decides to promote one of your stories.

As I’ve said of the Newsstand, and now Apple News, this attempt at news content aggregation will never work so long as Apple refuses to build an infrastructure around it that is more open and transparent, that includes a team of publishing experts, veterans. Apple won’t don’t that, ever, because it means becoming less insular. Too bad, I wouldn’t mind moving back to the Bay Area to help them (that, too, will never happen).

Late yesterday Apple emailed Apple News publishers with their latest changes. Because we all get so much email you might have missed it, so it is reproduced here:


 


Dear Publisher,
With more than 70 million monthly active users, Apple News is a great platform to reach your readers on iPhone and iPad. Check out your channel’s reach in News Publisher’s Analytics, which now includes event markers to help you identify engagement milestones.


Introducing Event Markers
If one of your articles is targeted with a notification or selected for Top Stories by our editors, the event will be marked by a dot on the X-axis of any chart included in the Analytics section of News Publisher. Event markers help track article engagement, channel favorites, and other spikes. Click an event marker to reveal the event and targeted article(s).
Holiday Downtime
During the U.S. holidays, Apple News support will be offline on the following dates:
  • Thursday, November 24, 2016
  • Sunday, December 25, 2016
  • Sunday, January 1, 2017
If you have questions or need support, continue to use Contact Us, but keep in mind that response times on or around these dates may be delayed.


Tips and Tricks
Cover Art for Featured Stories
The new Featured Stories section in For You highlights engaging and beautifully designed stories, curated by Apple News editors. To submit your story for consideration, provide additional Cover Art with your Apple News Format article bundle when publishing articles using the Apple News API.
Markdown Ordered List Numbering
Ordered and unordered lists only function within individual components. When text components are set to "format": "markdown", the first "#." is always viewed as the first list item in an ordered list, no matter the number provided.
The following JSON example shows two items separated into different components:
{
"role": "heading",
"text": "1. First list item",
"format": "markdown"
},
{
"role": "heading",
"text": "2. Second list item",
"format": "markdown"
}
Result
1. First list item
1. Second list item
If a list must be separated into multiple components, you should remove "format": "markdown" from each component or escape the period with two backslashes (\\), as shown in the following JSON example:
{
"role": "heading",
"text": "1\\. First list item",
"format": "markdown"
},
{
"role": "heading",
"text": "2\\. Second list item",
"format": "markdown"
}
Result
1. First list item
2. Second list item
For more information, see the Markdown for Apple News appendix in the Apple News Format Reference.
Preview Content on Older Versions of iOS
By adding older SDKs to News Preview, you can compare how articles will look on the current version of iOS 10 with how they’ll look on older versions such as iOS 9.3 to ensure that they’re backwards compatible. To add older SDKs:
  1. Launch Xcode on a Mac.
  2. Open Xcode Preferences > Components > Simulators.
  3. Click the arrow next to each additional SDK you’d like to install (for example, iOS 9.3).
  4. Open News Preview. You can now preview your content on multiple versions of iOS.
Download the latest version of News Preview to preview Apple News Format JSON. Xcode is required to use News Preview.
Regards,
The Apple News Team
  • Wojtek 3 months ago

    Is there any rule how to get featured by Apple News moderator?