Hints of new Apple News audio feature appear in iOS 13.5.5
New iconography discovered in the latest iOS 13.5.5 beta suggests Apple is preparing to launch an audio feature for Apple News, seemingly confirming rumors that the tech giant plans to produce special content to make its product more attractive to potential subscribers.
Graphical assets and accompanying text discovered in the iOS 13.5.5 beta released on Monday point to an unannounced Apple News feature that might allow users to listen to select stories or daily summaries within the News app.
Uncovered by MacRumors, the currently unused and hidden assets include an "Apple News+ Audio" icon, an "Audio" icon that integrates a headphone graphic, and accompanying informational text.
One snippet indicates Apple plans to generate audio summaries of a day's most impactful stories, as text reads, "Listen to a quick recap of today's top stories," the report said.
A May report from Digiday was first to note Apple's rumored audio initiative.
At the time, sources at participating Apple News publications claimed Apple had pitched the idea of selecting popular written word articles to convert into audio stories. Contract stipulations prevent the practice, however, prompting publishers to propose a solution in which they present Apple pieces for audio translation.
Apple has not announced intent to debut an Apple News audio feature, though today's discovery suggests such capabilities might debut in the near future.