Apple News has a notification spam problem

What happens with an Apple News account’s notifications when left on its own? Way, way too much – Apple News has a spam problem.

Lately, I’ve been diving deeper into Apple News – thanks to the recent addition of Apple News+ magazines, along with the recently-added “Open In Apple News” share sheet extension, it’s been my go-to source for a quick news digest, some longer reads, and now feature stories as well.

Plus, I’ve been using my old iPad Mini 2 to consume the news as a more focused and intentional usage of my devices, almost only ever using it for News and Books.

About three weeks ago I read Digital Minimalism, but then hadn’t touched the iPad Mini since (I just read News on my other devices). But when I picked up the device again to read How To Bored over this last weekend, I was met with this on the screen:

Page after page of Apple News notifications, all from sources I barely actually read and who were attempting to grab my attention every 15-30 minutes – my Apple News account was spamming me.

I have almost all of these notifications turned off on my other devices, but this just goes to show how bad the problem can easily become if you don’t deliberately manage this single app.

Not a single notification shown on my screen required any amount of urgency, even when marked BREAKING, and Apple even recommended a “lifestyle” story about a porn website.

For someone trying to reclaim my attention and focus from places like Twitter, I am finding myself fighting against the very application that’s supposed to help.

I am extremely surprised that Apple has created such a “trusted” medium for news organizations to spam us all day long, even more than Facebook would ever dare with notifications (though, rest assured, they’ve tried).

I really hope Apple takes another look at the core experience of the News app and how/when services are able to send notifications, hopefully moving beyond a simple on/off switch per channel. Because if we are to trust this application on a daily basis, it can’t be one of the most spammy apps out there.

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