Apple News: Another Search Fail?

March 26, 2019

Apple is a bit of a mystery to me. Example: Navigate to the Apple app store. Type in a word like “disc recovery”? What do you get? Which app does what? I need to recover now, not conduct a day long click, read, and compare. Now try: “bootable iso”? Helpful, right? A suggestion or a link to Apple help might be useful? Next what app is best for a particular task like hotel reservation? Give up yet? Now go to Garageband and enter in the help or search box, “no audio for the microphone”? Get any help from the help system? Tip: Look for audio HDMI in utilities on a Mac laptop. The volume sliders get reset. How? Who knows? What about finding a book in Apple iTunes’ audiobook section? Type in an author’s name but misspell it by omitting a letter? Learn to spell, gentle reader.

I thought of these example when I read “Apple News Plus Is a Fine Way to Read Magazines, but a Disappointment to Anyone Wishing for a Real Boost for the News Business.” I noted this statement in the article:

It’s actually a little hard to even find L.A. Times and Journal content in Apple News Plus because they don’t fit into the magazine UX it’s dependent on. Tap “Browse the Catalog” in Plus and you can scroll all day, but you’ll never find either paper, because they’re not contained in “issues.”

Findability. Stated another way, Apple is not particularly good at search and retrieval. Gloss and PR are covered. Finding information? Not on the radar in my opinion.

Stephen E Arnold, March 26, 2019


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