Apple News steps out of the shadows and allowing publishers track their success without having to pay up for an Apple Developer account and agree to iAds, according to Slight Future.
Users of the Apple News service have been indistinguishable from the ones surfing through web views of in-app browsers — until now. The Apple News User-Agent in iOS 9 was also the default for in-app browsers and didn’t contain anything to separate it from other apps. It notably didn’t contain the Safari component, at least setting it apart from the Safari web browser.
However, in iOS 10 Public Beta 1, a new User-Agent was introduced that, for the first time, advertises that the request is coming from the Apple News app. It seems pretty clear that iOS 10 will use a unique User-Agent for the Apple News app.
User agents are unique to every visitor on the web. They reveal a catalogue of technical data about the device and software that the visitor is using. User agents are also critical in controlling search engine robots.
(Thanks to AWT reader Daniel Aleksandr for the heads-up on this news item. Have a news item yourself? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. )