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Eddy Cue says Apple News glitch has been miscounting users, do you use the app? [Poll]

Apple News iPad 16-9

It’s been an interesting day for user number stories out of Apple over the weekend. Early Sunday morning it was reported that Apple Music has reached 10 million paying subscribers, or half way to what Spotify currently claims, and a story published late Sunday night includes an interesting confession from Apple’s services guy Eddy Cue. The Apple exec told the WSJ that the company hasn’t been accurately counting the number of users actively using its new Apple News app.

“We’re in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality,” he said. “We don’t know what the right number is,” but he added that it was better to undercount than overcount traffic.

Despite the glitch, Mr. Cue said Apple is pleased with the product so far. He said most feedback from publishers has been positive. Usage has “scaled very fast…but it doesn’t mean we don’t all want more,” he said.

The lower-than-reality numbers have been shared with publishers that use the number to make decisions about using supporting the platform and optionally advertising through it.

While the admission of an error in the process is a bit odd, it partially puts Apple in a positive light as Apple News user numbers that may have not impressed partners can positively be revised once the tracking mistake is resolved. Three months ago when the tracking issue was presumably not known, Tim Cook confidently reported that iOS 9’s new Apple News app had drawn 40 million users during its first month as it expanded beyond the USA to the UK and Australia.

When Apple’s 40 million users figure was put out, it was widely questioned what actually counts as a user with some 9to5Mac readers sharing that the News app was rarely used although they may technically be counted as a user. Interestingly, Tim Cook is scheduled to address analysts and investors at the end of the month when Apple announces its quarterly earnings report from the holiday period. One thing to watch on January 26th is whether or not Apple once again tries to share Apple News user numbers.

In the meantime, let us know in our poll and in the comments below whether or not you actually use the new Apple News app introduced in iOS 9 as a replacement for the now retired Newsstand system:

Apple News has expanded beyond the USA and added new features since first debuting in September, and stories from 9to5Mac can be found through the app as well, so are you actively using Apple News or is it just another app in a folder on your iPhone or iPad?

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  1. rnc - 7 years ago

    I would like to try, but it’s only available in USA.

    That option seems missing.

    • Michael Brooks - 7 years ago

      its also available in the UK. You can also change your phones location to US temporarily just to get the app to download and then change the location back. thats what i did so i could use it and i actually really like it.

    • Jonny - 7 years ago

      I’ve been using the Regional workaround (Settings > General > Language & Region) to use it in Canada. I get error messages on occasion and eagerly await a launch in Canada, but for for now it works well.

  2. Craig Wilson - 7 years ago

    I want to use Apple News, as the content that is on it is beautiful looking. But this could not be a worse attempt at creating a news platform if it tried
    – No Mac app to sync with
    – Most sources not available ones that are are missing content, or slow to update
    – Can’t easily see what you’ve already seen and how many more stories you have left to read
    – Seperate storage for saved articles, when the reading list in safari would be much more convenient
    – No apple watch app
    – No video news version for the apple tv
    – can’t add rss feeds
    off the top of my head

    • So what News app do you recommend that covers all of those? And did that news app offer all of those features right away or did they come with time?

      • Craig Wilson - 7 years ago

        Any RSS reader is better than Apple News in every way but the display of full article content. I hope Apple News is a tremendous success, as the articles are gorgeous, and the ads are not intrusive. But it is basically just at concept stage at the moment. Something like the daring fireball feed is missing most articles, and is extremely slow to update. Not ideal for a news feed.

  3. mike_ch (@mtc) - 7 years ago

    Since they added top stories, it’s my go-to for finding out what’s going on around me. I still use Google News to get information about specific subjects, though.

    However, too much of the content is just RSS style shortcuts to articles on the mobile web instead of formatted for Apple News. And the sections are poorly thought out; for example they seem to be pretty close to the NYT (30 articles/day rather than 10/month via the web, daily email updates, etc) but they don’t have an easy place to read the Times pundits.

  4. yojimbo007 - 7 years ago

    I use it.. And i love it !

  5. If only I could. Norwegian heathen here.

  6. Alina Gomes - 7 years ago


  7. Alina Gomes - 7 years ago


  8. I use it every other day, and really like it.
    The funny thing is I live in Iran! It’s available here for everyone😎😎

  9. Michael Maguire - 7 years ago

    Lower than reality?

  10. Moisés Pinto Muyal - 7 years ago

    Never, it’s only for US, to apple the “outer world” only exist for sales, not to users. Thats how we feel about it.

  11. John Biondini - 7 years ago

    I do but Google’s still better for me. I would love a proper search engine style search and not by threads.

  12. MK (@MathiasMK84) - 7 years ago

    I would love to use it, unfortunately it’s not available here in switzerland. Really disappointing that it takes them so long… And no indication whatsoever if and when it will be released in other countries.

  13. Kevin Labranche - 7 years ago

    I would but it is not available in Canada

  14. rwanderman - 7 years ago

    I’ll use it more when Apple releases a Mac version of it that syncs with the iOS version and when it works more like an RSS reader so you can move through and dismiss stories you’ve read already or aren’t interested in.

    Until then, most of my news comes from an RSS account on Feedly and read with Reeder on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad. That account has been built and honed by me since the NetNewsWire days, then on to Google Reader and now Feedly.

  15. gymnastboatman - 7 years ago

    I would read it more often if 9to5 Mac was displayed correctly for it….CultofMac definitely is.

  16. Doug Aalseth - 7 years ago


  17. Kevin Tran (@keviinmeow) - 7 years ago

    I think I still prefer Flipboard, though they are generally the same thing, I tend to open Flipboard more than the News app

  18. Jake Becker - 7 years ago

    I really want to like News… setting it up was a breeze, very classic Apple, the general look is fantastic, but there’s many things that leave me wondering what they were thinking, such as the scrolling format..I wouldn’t use a news app if I couldn’t swipe from page to page, and then there’s the shortcuts to minimized mobile web articles everywhere getting you lost in the app….a lot of naysayers have used the term lately but this app is truly half baked, IMO.

  19. johnmfoley - 7 years ago

    I didn’t expect to use it, but I’m actually enjoying it. I wish it could load new stories a little faster though.

  20. William @ - 7 years ago

    As a publisher, Apple News has been good source of traffic for us. I have it set up on my iPhone and iPad for personal use too, but Feedly is still my go to.

  21. Use it, love it. I’ve found that I read stuff from a much more diverse set of publishers than I do on my Mac, where I still have to go to a specific publisher’s website. I really hope the next OS X iteration comes with a News app.

  22. PJ (@D00mM4r1n3) - 7 years ago

    They’re probably not counting the News feed found in the Siri pane when you swipe the home screen to the right. I never used the News app but still see the News feed is updating in that section.

  23. I wish they’d allow the “turn off News” altogether option. I want it to stop being active on my phone entirely.

  24. Michael Fluharty - 7 years ago

    Maybe know they know we check it out from time to time they will invest their energies in to getting the bugs out.

  25. I would probably use it, but it is still not available in Germany. So for the time being I’ll stick with Flipbook.

  26. Kevin Roa - 7 years ago

    Fortunately I live in Texas, the center of the universe. Works fine here.

  27. Bui Tyril (@Tyril) - 7 years ago

    I gave it a chance and browsed through the news sources only to find the usual mainstream stuff that fewer and fewer seem to read. As I couldn’t find any of my favorite sources (which often happen to challenge some of the mainstream propaganda), I concluded this has no value; maybe there is some way for users to add providers/sources but I coudn’t find any.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created