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Apple News opens the floodgates

Authors, local newspapers and even bloggers can now publish content to Apple's news apps.

Apple News aggregates news sources into one feed and builds personalized recommendations based on what you read.
Jason Cipriani/CNET

Now you have another reason to be glued to your phone.

Apple on Tuesday launched new tools for its imaginatively named Apple News news app to publishers of all sizes, expanding the amount of content you'll be able to read on your iPhone. Local newspapers, independent publishers and even bloggers can now offer up content in the so-called Apple News Format.

The News app, which is baked into the iOS software that powers iPhones and iPads, aggregates news sources into one feed and builds personalized recommendations based on what you read. Apple has partnered with more than 100 media companies since launching the app in September, including The New York Times, Conde Nast and (full disclosure) CNET.

The expansion is part of Apple's battle with rivals, including Facebook and Google, to capture more of your mobile attention by delivering content quickly. Next month, Facebook is opening Instant Articles, which accelerates the loading of news stories posted to the social network, to all publishers.

Google has a similar project called AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. The company says AMP pages load four times faster and take up less wireless data than a regular article page.

Apple is also promising to make it easier for publishers to see how content is performing in the News app. In October, CEO Tim Cook said around 40 million people were reading Apple News. However, the company later admitted it didn't know exactly how many people were reading articles on the app.

Apple had been underestimating the number of readers due to a software bug, Apple executive Eddy Cue told the The Wall Street Journal.

Update, March 16 at 9:51 a.m. PT: Adds more information.