Apple is preparing to shut down the standalone version of Texture in the wake of launching its Apple News+ subscription service.
Texture has begun warning customers that it will officially close its standalone platform for all users by the end of May. The company’s site prominently says that “Texture is ending” and recommends that users subscribe to Apple News+. A support page pegs the last date of service as May 28, 2019.
It isn’t clear whether user subscriptions will expire before May 28, or whether users will be refunded if they don’t receive a full month’s worth of service before the cutoff. Texture also noted that gift codes are no longer being accepted.
Like Apple News+, Texture offered subscribers unlimited access to hundreds of digital magazines for a monthly fee of $9.99. Unlike Apple News+, it’s available on a wide variety of devices — including Android.
But it’s not like users didn’t see this coming. Apple acquired the “Netflix for magazines” platform back in March 2018. And just a few days ago, it debuted a service which is pretty obviously based on Texture’s existing infrastructure and publisher agreements (with a few of Apple’s own tweaks and additions).
Of course, the news is unfortunate for Android users who subscribe to texture — since, as mentioned earlier, Apple News+ is only currently available on Apple platforms like iPhone, iPad and Mac.
There’s an argument to be made that Apple will likely bring Apple News and Apple News+ to Android eventually. But even if it has no plans to do so, it probably should.
As the iPhone’s power wanes, Apple is increasingly looking to services as its primary revenue driver. But unlike hardware products, the very nature of services basically demand that they be open to third-party platforms.
Apple knows this, which is why Apple Music is available on Android and Amazon Echo and the new TV app is coming to Roku and Amazon Fire TV. With Texture closing, it only makes sense for Apple News+ to be available on Android, too. In the meantime, Android users have about two months left to enjoy their “Netflix for magazines” before they have to search for an alternative (or switch to iOS).