Apple launches candidate guide for 2020 Democratic debates on its News app

Posted at 4:14 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 08:37:30-04

Many of the lesser-known Democratic candidates are betting that this week’s debates will be an opportunity to introduce themselves to the viewing audience.

Along those same lines, Apple is introducing a new feature in the Apple News app called a “candidate guide,” with basic facts, biographies and positions on key issues.

Apple says the guide will supply “timely, trusted and comprehensive” information about the candidates in the debates. The information comes via a variety of news providers, from CNN to Axios, Vox to Fox.

Ten contenders will be on stage at Wednesday night’s debate in Miami, and another 10 will have their chance on Thursday night. The forums will be televised on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

For Apple, the candidate guides are another way to differentiate its News app from other apps and services.

The free app, which aggregates news from dozens of big and small news outlets, now includes a subscription service called News+ that was added earlier this year. For $9.99 a month, News+ provides access to hundreds of magazines and other types of publications.

Apple says it employs hundreds of people throughout the company who work on news products, from the design of the News app to the marketing of the subscription service.

A key part of the sales pitch entails curation — meaning that the app is not a free-for-all of random and unreliable outlets. Editors are involved in the decision-making.

For the candidate guide, Apple says the information is “curated by the team of Apple News editors.”

“We want to offer Apple News readers a trusted place to learn more about candidates they’re familiar with and those they may be hearing about for the first time,” said Apple News editor in chief Lauren Kern. “The candidate guide in Apple News is a robust and reliable resource, connecting readers to valuable at-a-glance information and to great journalism from our partners.”

After the debates wrap up, the guides “will be continuously updated with news from reliable sources throughout the primary campaign,” according to Apple.