Apple is rolling out some iterative improvements to Apple News for publishers taking advantage of its Apple News Format to post articles. Apple is adding Map and Place components, to let authors pictographically display relevant locations — complete with pins to highlight POI.

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Moreover, all publishers can now choose custom artwork for their channel cover image. This is the thumbnail iconography that appears in the Favorites grid (as well as elsewhere). Until now, choosing a custom photo or graphic for this spot was reserved for select partners only.

Apple News would automatically select a thumbnail from embedded images in recent posts for any other channel (read: majority of them). Now, anyone can represent their brand as they please by uploading an image file in News Publisher settings.

It’s also easier for publishers to backfill their channel with archived posts by including a published data metadata property. Until now, submitted posts would be labelled as if they were just being published live. Image assets can now be sourced from remote URLs, rather than being included in the submitted article bundle. This simplifies integrations with third-party CMS’s considerably.

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