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“Apple News Magazines” details leak: PDF-based, offline reading, both on iOS and macOS

New details about Apple’s revamped news and magazine subscription service—expected to be announced at the company’s Special Event on March 25—have been unearthed in Apple’s software code.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith dug through the beta code for iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4 and discovered details about how the service, which may be called “Apple News Magazines,” might work.

“The magazines are PDF-based (like most iPad magazines), and issues can be stored offline,” he tweeted.

“It looks like Apple News’ magazine service is prepared to launch on macOS too,” he further concluded, sharing the relevant screenshots in support of his argument.

There’s also support for push notifications when new issues of magazines are available. No surprise there.

Troughton-Smith also found several references to the magazine subscription service within Apple News, and a list of the different magazine genres that will be included:

  • Automotive
  • Business & Finance
  • Crafts & Hobby
  • Entertainment
  • Fashion & Style
  • Food & Cooking
  • Health & Fitness
  • Home & Gardening
  • Kids & Parenting
  • Men’s Lifestyle
  • News & Politics
  • Science & Technology
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Travel
  • Women’s Lifestyle

The code doesn’t reveal any information about how much Apple’s new all-you-can-eat magazine and news subscription will cost. It’s expected that the pricing will remain the same as it is for Texture—a magazine aggregator bought by Apple about a year ago—i.e., $9.99 a month for access to more than 200 magazines.

Apple has reportedly been interested in bundling subscription news services too. While the leaked notifications list the magazines National Geographic, Bon Appétit, and Fast Company, there aren’t any explicit reference to newspapers.

The much-anticipated launch comes at a time when Apple is looking to boost its services revenues after iPhone sales saw a decline, towards the latter half of 2018.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that Apple wants to keep about half of the subscription revenue from the service. Many publishers have reportedly pushed back at this proposed split. No further details on the final deals are available at this point.

Either way, it’s less than a fortnight to go before the launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, on March 25.

Apple says, “It’s show time.

And publishers—who have been burnt by the Cupertino colossus before, especially with Newsstand—are waiting to see what Apple has to show, this time.


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