The new Breaking News app for iPhone/iPad is here just in time for iOS 8. Beyond a bevy of new iOS 8 additions, it includes a groundbreaking new feature.
In a first for a mobile app, you can see news breaking near you, wherever you go. Tap the “nearby” tab and you’ll see real-time updates posted by our editors as well as automatically-updating breaking news tweets from our local partners.
We’ve tested the nearby feature with several road trips over the last few months, including a U.S. cross-country jaunt. It works internationally, too.
The range is set at 100 miles by default, which means you’ll see breaking stories within 100 miles of your location in the nearby feed. But you can adjust the range to adapt to your geography (above right). Tap the map icon in the nearby feed, and you’ll see a red circle around your location. Tap the range icon, and you can move the slider from 100 miles all the way down to a single mile.
In dense urban areas, 5 miles may be optimal, and you could see several breaking stories a day. If you’re in a rural area, even if it’s zoomed out to 100 miles, you may not see a single update; breaking news tends to concentrate in more populated areas. We’re already working on improvements to the feed, which you’ll see in the weeks to come. (Please let us know if you see any issues by dropping us a note.)
Our nearby feed is a natural complement to proximity alerts, which we launched earlier this year. Just as editor alerts are triggered when big news breaks around the globe, proximity alerts trigger when big news breaks near you. For both the nearby feed and proximity alerts to work, you’ll need to opt into sharing your location. It’s entirely anonymous — even to us — and we’re not saving or sharing your locations. We respect your privacy.
New iOS 8 features
Our new update is optimized for two new iOS 8 capabilities: today widget and interactive notifications.
Swipe down on your lock screen, scroll down and tap the new “edit” button. You can add a real-time Breaking News widget (left below) that displays the latest update, latest nearby update (if you’re sharing your location) and trending topics. It’s a quick way to get updates on what’s happening without opening the app.
Interactive notifications (above right) enable you to react to an alert straight from the notification itself. Just swipe a notification to the left in your lock screen. When you receive an editor alert in iOS 8, you can add the topic to your watchlist — so you can monitor subsequent updates — or share it with a single tap. When you receive a topic alert that you’ve already configured in your watchlist, you can share or whoa the story instantly.
We’ve also made a lot of snazzy design improvements and bug fixes, thanks to your feedback. Keep it coming!
News partner tips
Over 300 news partners tip us with their original breaking stories over Twitter, the first and largest Twitter-based network of its kind. Now whenever a local news partner sends a #breaking tip with a location name — that’s the key — we’ll automatically surface the tweet to people nearby, amplifying the partner’s coverage and driving more traffic to the source.
After all, the best local news coverage comes from local news organizations, and Twitter is the best way to share it. Breaking News boosts great local coverage to wider audiences, including people visiting a local market. To learn more about becoming a news partner or optimizing your tweets for Breaking News, please visit here or send us a note.
(Post by @corybe)