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Smart Banners points to Apple News instead of publisher apps in iOS 14



Apple has made a change in the handling of Smart App Banners that point users to the Apple News app instead of a third-party app when they open a web page hosted by a News + publisher.

Specifically, Smart App Banners now asks users to open stories in the Apple News app, at least for News + partners currently using the API. As implemented in iOS 13, the Smart App Banner framework allows developers to ask users to download their third-party apps from the App Store, or to open a similar link from Safari.

The change was made in the latest iOS 14 beta, which was released on September 3.

It changed Smart Banner in the latest beta version of iOS 14.

It changed Smart Banner in the latest beta of iOS 14.

In the most up-to-date iOS 14 beta, it appears that the Smart App Banner API or Safari detects News + Partner web domains, which trigger the display of the modified promotional banner. Smart App Banner code on affected pages is unchanged, indicating that there is a change in the way Safari handles publisher URLs.

As mentioned, the new banner only appears for publications participating in Apple News +. Developers may be able to control which banner is displayed to users – Apple News or App Store downloads – even if it is not clear at this time.

The banner behavior is in addition to a new feature in iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur that automatically redirects users to the Apple News app when they click on a News + publisher link. Apple says that the feature is designed for ease of use, since an Apple News + subscription does not allow users to bypass the publisher website. However, some publishers have called the new direction “shady”.


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