The Apple News app has been around for nearly five years and, in that time, has become a quiet giant. With the opportunity to see top feeds curated by human editors, trending stories suggested by Siri or stories popular with other readers, there is something for everyone. The more time you spend in Apple News, the more personalized the stories become. If you have not tried the app, you really are missing out on a customizable experience. What if you want to really make the Apple News app “your own”? Try these settings to customize your Apple News app.
The first thing you want to do is start adding channels. If it’s your first time opening the News app, “Discover Channels & Topics” is down on the left side of the screen. If you have already been using the News app to add topics, go to File on the menu bar and select “Discover Channels & Topics.”
When the popup opens, the app essentially wants you to choose your favorite topics or news sites to follow. When going through these options, there is a fairly endless scroll taking you through a variety of news, celebrity, gaming, science, politics, culture and other sources or topics. As the Apple News app starts to recognize you are selecting a lot of gaming sites to follow, you will start to see more gaming options appear.
Alternatively, look for the search bar in the top-right side of the screen. Type in a topic you want to follow. For example, type “Gaming.” You will now see a few options available including following gaming as a topic overall or a number of websites related to gaming in “Channels.” When you find a channel you want to read, click on the “+” sign to add it to your currently-followed topics or sources.
There are plenty of reasons why you may want to unfollow a channel. Whether it is no longer relevant to your interests or the site no longer exists, unfollowing is easy. Underneath the “Following” list of topics or sites on the left sidebar, right-click on any name and select “Unfollow Channel/Topic..” Alternatively, you can also go to File in the menu bar and select “Unfollow Channel.” Each method achieves the same result.
As noted above, Apple News is something of a combination of human editors plus your own selection of topics or channels to follow. Perhaps you want to cut out of a lot of the superfluous activity that is not of interest to you. That might be the top stories around politics, world events or sports. Either way, you can make this happen easily by restricting the stories you to see to only those that come from the channels or topics you follow.
To do this, head to “News” in the Mac menu bar and select “Preferences.” You can now click on the “Restrict stories in Today” box. With that selection, all other topics or stories are blocked. To disable this feature, follow the same Mac menu bar back to the same location and uncheck the “Restrict stories in Today” box.
Voting on Stories
Even after you have set up your channels or topics to follow, you still have the option to “vote” on stories that interest you. This will help the Apple News app algorithm select stories in the future that are relevant to your interests. The mobile Apple News app allows you to swipe each story to vote, but the Mac app requires an extra click or two. As you surf around the News app and come across a story that you like and want to read more, right-click on the story.
Among other options, you will see two choices to either “Suggest More Like This” or “Suggest Less Like This.” Each of these choices will help the News app algorithm learn your interests and help you discover more stories on your own that might be of interest. The more you select either of these two options, the more the system can learn and help customize the type of news and sources you see on a daily basis.
Like the mobile Apple News app, the Mac app can send as many or as few notifications as you would like. Do you want to see notifications from every topic or site you follow or just a few? If you choose the former, you could potentially get inundated with notifications all day long. In that case, it is good to manage your notifications and limit to specific channels or topics.
To get started, head to File in the Mac menu bar and select “Manage Notifications & Email.” When the small pop-up opens, you can scroll through and select which channels you want to receive notifications from. You will have the option of both channels or topics you selected or “More Channels,” which is full of sites you have previously read or voted for.
It is easy to customize the Apple News app on Mac, as it allows for plenty of control over who and what you follow. If you are on iOS, here is how you can sign up for a new subscription in your iPhone.