Earlier today, Apple seeded the first beta of iOS 13.5.5 to developers. And it turns out the new software is at least preparing for a new feature coming to Apple News+.
As first reported today by MacRumors, the iOS 13.5.5 beta includes a couple different clear cut signs that Apple is working on audio support for Apple News+ stories. The first sign is the image you can see at the top of this article, which reads “Apple News+ Audio”. In addition to that, Apple includes the wording, “Listen to a quick recap of today’s top stories”, which suggests this feature will be a quick and easy way for Apple News+ subscribers to get a taste of the most important news stories for the day with audio, rather than reading the stories.
There is also an image of an icon that appears to indicate when a story might feature audio support, so it looks like Apple is going to aim to differentiate these audio-supported stories in a big way once the feature goes live for subscribers. You can see that icon just below.
Back in May, there was a report that said Apple was working on audio support for Apple News+ stories, but there were some issues that could reportedly delay its launch. That started with compensation, which the report suggested would remain the same as it is now between Apple and publishers, something that was expected to be a bit of a sticking point for Apple.
Publishers are also able to select which stories get the audio support, and some have balked at the idea of letting Apple simply record audio for every single story available in Apple News+. As we reported then:
Intellectual property concerns may hold things back a bit, though. The report indicates that Apple’s initial goal was to be able to record any news story it wanted. However, publishers are apparently counter-offering their own works, which would initially limit the available audio news stories.
There was some debate on whether or not Apple would get this feature off the ground at all, depending on how negotiations worked with publishers. However, that was then and this is now and it sounds like Apple has ironed out those issues and is indeed working on launching audio support for Apple News+.
The question remains, though, just how much of that content available within the subscription service will get support for the new feature.
Apple News+ costs $9.99 per month. If you aren’t already paying that, would you think about joining up with this new audio feature? Let us know in the comments!