Digital Times
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Digital Times

Experimenting with Apple News

A couple of weeks ago a small team of editorial staff, including newsroom developers and designers were sent to Cupertino to work on our implementation of The Times and Sunday Times in Apple’s new News App

There are two ways to publish with Apple News. You can simply provide them with your RSS feed and they will display everything you publish with a link back to the original piece. Or you can use Apple News Format (a type of annotated JSON) which means you can make use of your own fonts and existing design language.

We spent the week getting to grips with Apple’s format so that we could understand how to create templates for the types of articles we publish everyday.

We’ve started off with two main designs for launch — a standard article template that takes on the colour of the section it belongs to

On the left, a news story and on the right, a sport story.

and an Opinion / Thunderer template to show off our columnists

When adding a new publishing platform to the mix we have to figure out a way to make it as easy as possible for our editors to integrate into their already very busy days.

For our Apple News implementation we made it easy to choose any of the articles published into that day’s edition, make any tweaks required and then send them on to Apple News.

A screenshot of the dashboard for our Apple News editor

From here it’s really easy for editors to see what has been published to Apple and whether it’s been sent to both our UK and our International channels (Apple is only launching News in the US to begin with).

We’re looking forward to our experiment with Apple News getting started when iOS9 is launched later today and we are keen to see if the platform can help us find new subscribers that love The Times and Sunday Times journalism.

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Stories from the digital team at The Times and Sunday Times

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Nick Petrie

Nick Petrie

Deputy Head of Digital @TheTimes & @TheSundayTimes Co-founder & Managing Ed @Wannabehacks. Working on http://brewbuildcook.co.uk (Likes side projects…)

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