Apple News has been handed a long-awaited feature in its upcoming release, with the app now automatically saving your reading progress so you can pick up where you left off.
The feature will arrive in iOS 13.6, which entered beta testing earlier this week.
In the current version of the app, Apple News will return you to the top of the article when you leave the page, even if you were half-way through reading the article.
This was particularly frustrating for users who were in the middle of reading a long-form article as part of Apple News+.
As first reported by MacRumors, iOS 13.6 finally fixes this problem, creating a virtual bookmark within previously-opened articles for future reading. Whether users close the app, restart their phone, or click back to the Apple News dashboard, their progress will be saved.
But the feature has a 30-second delay, according to early testing, meaning you’ll need to have been reading for at least 30 seconds before your progress is saved. This is designed to reduce the system memory footprint, but it could be tweaked before the update is released.
Alongside this new feature, the beta confirms that Apple is working on audio versions of its Apple News articles, suggesting that premium podcast-type news could be coming soon.
Assets in the beta code show off Apple News+ Audio with icons, text, and user interface elements suggesting that some of the app’s popular articles would be converted into audio.
The company has struggled to encourage consumers to subscribe to its premium news offering, but with a bundle on its way, bringing together Music, TV+, Arcade, and News+, perhaps Apple will finally be able to convince users to engage with the premium news app.
The iOS 13.6 beta is currently in testing. Other new additions include automatic downloading of future iOS updates and new additions to the Health app. Apple will announce iOS 14 later in the month at WWDC, but the company will continue to update iOS 13 until September.
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