How To: Apple News Has 7 Big Updates on iOS 17 You Should Know About — Here's Everything That Changed

Apple News Has 7 Big Updates on iOS 17 You Should Know About — Here's Everything That Changed

With iOS 17, Apple News integrates more deeply with Apple Podcasts and Apple Stocks and has become a bit more fun thanks to new crossword puzzles. But that's not all that appears in the updated News app.

Many of the new Apple News features, some of which were released in September and some afterward and forthcoming, appear on iPadOS 17 and macOS 14 Sonoma too. The new iOS 17.2 update adds a few interesting features to the mix, including UI changes. Here's everything you need to know about:

1. News+ Crossword Puzzles

If you subscribe to Apple News+ and live in the United States, you have access to miniature and standard crossword puzzles you can solve directly in the News app on iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS 14 Sonoma.

Crossword puzzles are released daily, provided in partnership with The Puzzle Society. Each Crossword Mini offers 10 clues, while the standard Crossword typically provides more than 60 clues, with difficulty marked as easy, moderate, or challenging.

You can solve puzzles from the grid view, with clues above the keyboard, or the list view, with the answer boxes directly under each clue.

Puzzle features include Autocheck, which tells you right away if a letter is wrong; manual checks for squares, words, or the entire puzzle; reveal options for squares, words, or the whole puzzle when you're stumped; a timer you can show or hide; a way to start finished puzzles over again; and more options.

Apple News+ puzzles can be found in the Latest Puzzles section on the "Today" tab or via the Puzzles link on the "Following" tab.

2. Apple News Channel on Apple Podcasts

The News app's "Audio" tab gives everyone access to full audio news stories from Apple News Today (a daily news briefing) and Apple News in Conversation (a weekly interview show). If you subscribe to Apple News+ or Apple One Premier, you also get full access to all the other audio news stories available in Apple News+.

With iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS 14 Sonoma, these Apple News audio stories are easier to find and listen to in the Podcasts app. While you could listen to the free shows above on older software, you couldn't add the Apple News+ Edition channel to your list of channels on Apple Podcasts. Now, it's automatically connected and added to your podcast channels list.

Also automatically added to Apple Podcasts are other channels from top apps you subscribe to, such as Apple Music, Calm, and Lingokids, with podcast shows. Other app subscriptions you can connect to Podcasts include Bloomberg, Curio, L'Équipe, Mamamia, Sleep Cycle, The Economist, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, WELT News, and Zen.

This will simplify access to both articles and audio content across Apple News, Apple Podcasts, and other apps.

3. News+ Narrated Podcast

With a new Apple News+ Edition channel in the Podcasts app, Apple also gives us a new podcast show called "Apple News+ Narrated." While you can see it in the Podcasts app on older software, you can only play the new show with an Apple News+ or Apple One Premier subscription on iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS 14 Sonoma.

  • Apple News+ Narrated: Monday through Friday, professional voice actors narrate articles of news stories from top magazines and newspaper publishers on Apple News+. Episode pages have links to the original Apple News+ articles if you'd rather read than listen.

The new show joins three other previously available Apple News podcasts:

  • Apple News Today: Shumita Basu hosts a podcast episode every weekday morning that covers the biggest stories in recent news in under 10 minutes.
  • Apple News in Conversation: Shumita Basu hosts a podcast episode weekly that explores a new topic in the headlines in more depth, featuring conversations with journalists, experts, and cultural icons.
  • After the Whistle: An Unofficial World Cup Show: Brendan Hunt (aka Coach Beard on "Ted Lasso") and Rebecca Lowe (an NBC Sports presenter) host episodes semiweekly during the soccer season. The last episodes focused on the 2023 Women's World Cup.

4. Show Stories in Stocks Widget

Apple News stories related to companies you track in the Stocks app have been available in the Stocks app for each ticker symbol, when available, for a while now. Now, you can also follow the latest business and financial news on your Home Screen in the Stocks widget.

To add the Stocks widget, tap and hold any empty spot on a Home Screen page, then select the plus (+) button that appears. Choose "Stocks" and pick from any of the six available widgets. Tap "Add Widget" or drag and drop the widget onto the Home Screen where you want it. The small and medium widgets show one news story, while the large widgets show three.

By default, these widgets are set to only show Apple News stories after regular trading hours are over for the stock exchange, but you can change it from "In Off Hours" to "Always" or "Never." To do so, long-press the Stocks widget on your Home Screen, choose "Edit Widget," and set Show Stories to your desired setting.

Tapping an article in the Stocks widget will open up the Apple News story in the Stocks app, not the Apple News app. If there are ever any server errors or internet issues, the widgets will act as if you selected "Never" for Apple News stories until the issue is resolved.

5. Live Activities for Special Coverage

On iOS 17.2 and iPadOS 17.2, you'll find a new switch for Live Activities in Settings –> Apple News. We haven't seen anything in News with a Live Activity yet, but it will likely let you follow special live coverage of elections, awards ceremonies, and other events updated in real time.

After starting a Live Activity in Apple News, you should be able to see live updates from glanceable locations, such as the Lock Screen, StandBy screen, and Dynamic Island.

Apple News preferences on iOS 17.1.1 (left) vs. iOS 17.2 (right).

6. Rearranged Buttons

The Suggest More and Suggest Less buttons in Apple News were consolidated and moved from the bottom to the top of articles with iOS 16.5, and the top action bar has been the same since. But on iOS 17.2, things look different. In the top bar:

  • Suggest More or Less moves from the right side to the left.
  • Share appears and takes the right-side slot.
  • Save Story no longer appears as a bookmark button at all, so you have to open the More Actions (•••) menu or tap the new Share button to find the option to save stories.
Apple News top buttons on iOS 17.1.1 (left) and rearranged on iOS 17.2 (right).

7. Play/Pause Audio Stories from the News Widgets

Announced but not yet available on iOS 17, the Apple News widgets will let you play and pause Apple News podcasts and Apple News+ audio stories from your Home Screen. In September, Apple said it was coming in an update later this year, but it has not yet materialized yet, not even on iOS 17.2. Maybe we'll see it on iOS 17.3?

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover photo and screenshots by Andy Wolber/Gadget Hacks

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