July 21, 2017 Last Updated 2:10 pm

Apple informs publishers of new Apple News features in iOS 11 beta, new ‘Customer Support’ role in iTunes Connect

The latest iOS 11 beta offers digital publishers the ability to link from one component to another within your articles with anchor links for easier placing of content side-by-side

Apple sent out a couple of announcements to Apple News publishers and app developers late yesterday and early today. The first talked about the new Apple News Format features to be found in the iOS 11 beta.

The second email sent your early this morning informs app developers that there is a new Customer Support role that can be added to iTunes Connect accounts allowing media organization (and all other app developers) the ability to respond to customer reviews posted to the App Store.

Both email communications are reproduced below:

Dear Publisher,

We are pleased to announce that you can begin experimenting with the Apple News Format features included in iOS 11 beta. We’ve also provided guidance that will help Siri make the most informed recommendations about your content in iOS 11, as well as some new tips and tricks.

Apple News Announcements

New Apple News Format Features in iOS 11 Beta
iOS 11 beta offers some new and exciting updates to Apple News Format. We have added the ability to link from one component to another within your articles with anchor links, and made placing content side-by-side easier than ever with the new Collection Display property. For more information on these features and how to begin experimenting with iOS 11 beta, check out the What’s New section of the Apple News Format Reference. You’ll need to install Xcode 9 beta 3 and News Preview 1.3.7 beta to get started.

Optimize Your Content for Siri Suggestions
Apple News Format gives publishers the ability to include promotional components that help readers discover apps, newsletters, marquee content, and more. However, the text that appears within promotional components is usually unrelated to the article the user tapped on. We want to ensure that News personalization ignores any text that is not essential to the story. This will help Siri make the most informed content recommendations to News users, increase content placement accuracy within For You and topic feeds, and help you find and develop the most engaged audiences for your articles.

Please place any unrelated or promotional content within the new aside component. It looks just like a containercomponent, but sends a signal to Siri that it’s safe to ignore the container’s text when making personalized recommendations in the future.

Example JSON:

Tips and Tricks

Make Your Links Pay: Join the Affiliate Program
Are you linking to media content like music, books, apps, or podcasts from your articles? Our Affiliate Program provides a way for you to effectively link to millions of songs, albums, apps, books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts around the world while earning commissions on qualifying sales and receiving valuable campaign data. Apply now to join the program, gain insights on your commercial traffic, and earn commissions from your links.

More Beginner Support in Design Tutorials
The Apple News Format Design Tutorials now have more content than ever, including easier-to-use article templates and more information for designers who are new to JSON. New Further Exploration sections show you how to create your own designs by customizing the tutorial templates. To get started, see Apple News Format: Design Tutorial for the basics of components, layout, and style, or check out Apple News Format: Advanced Design Tutorial for more about containers, side-by-side layouts, animations, and other effects.

You can find all of our Apple News documentation, resources, and FAQs on the News Publisher Resources and Support site. If you have any questions, or would like assistance with your channel or articles, Contact Us.


The Apple News Team

Dear xxxxxxx,

Now you can give the customer support experts in your organization the ability to respond to customer reviews on the App Store with the new Customer Support role in iTunes Connect. Users with the Admin or Customer Support role have the ability to respond to customer reviews.

Your team’s admins may choose to assign only this role to users, or assign this role in combination with other roles. Users who have been assigned only the Customer Support role can access Resources and Help, Users and Roles, and My apps in iTunes Connect. When they click on an app in My Apps, they’ll go straight to Ratings and Reviews where they can respond to customer reviews.

To ensure a smooth introduction to this new role, all users with the App Manager and Marketer roles have been automatically assigned the Customer Support role. Users added to your team after July 13, 2017 will need to be manually assigned the Customer Support role in order to respond to customer reviews.

To learn how to add a new user and change user roles, see iTunes Connect Developer Help.

Best regards,
The App Store Team

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