In a world of fake news, Apple have committed to bringing their users news from ‘trusted sources’ by purchasing Texture, a subscription-based service that provides access to hundreds of different publications and magazines.
Now the question is: What exactly is Texture and how will this affect iOS users?
Founded in 2010 and known as Next Issue during its early days, the app was rebranded in 2015 to Texture and billed as a ‘Netflix-type service for magazines’. The app is backed by some of the world’s biggest publishers – Conde Nast, Rogers Media, KKR, Hearst and Meredith – and originally launched as a digital newstand, where you could grab the latest issue of your favourite magazine to read on the screen of your choosing.
After the rebranding, Texture curated content into specific collections so you could easily search for tech advice from a suite of tech mags or informative articles on a particular business venture. Moreover, users could curate their own content too – like many other app-based news reading services.
For a monthly subscription fee, you can access over 200 different magazines from Bloomberg Businessweek and The New Yorker to PC World, Wired, Entertainment Weekly and Vanity Fair.
What does this mean for Apple and iOS users?
Interestingly, the service is likely to be integrated into current Apple News offerings that iOS users have become accustomed to. Apple Senior Vice President, Eddy Cue, spoke at SXSW recently, suggesting that the service would be able to improve long-form articles that land on Apple News.
In an age where we are constantly consuming all our content on mobile phone screens and tablets, it’s a smart move by Apple to continue to push into the publishing space in this way, though traditional publishers may see it as a way for Apple to curate content ever further for their audience. Will the purchase affect publishers outside of Texture’s long list of magazines? We’ll have to wait and see.
Regardless, Australian users cannot access the app without a US zip code and credit card and Texture does not allow PayPal payments from outside the US. Thus, Australian users are unlikely to see any great changes in the near future but this may speed up a more global roll out for Texture.
Notably, Texture does have an Android app and is also available on Kindle, but whether or not these relationships with some of Apple’s major rivals continue indefinitely will be interesting to see. In the near future, it appears that Texture will continue to operate as usual.