Apple News is experimenting with a game that somewhat resembles NYT Connections

Calvin D

Apple News is currently experimenting with a brand-new game named Quartiles on iOS 17.5. This game challenges players to arrange 20 syllables into five words, each containing four syllables. According to Gadget Hacks, Quartiles' design is strikingly similar to that of Connections, a recent popular game by the New York Times. This similarity raises the question: is Apple News drawing inspiration from the Times?

Unlike Connections, where players categorize 16 words into four related groups, Quartiles tests players' skills in word formation. However, both games share the engaging puzzle of grouping items into fours, a concept which has gained immense popularity recently. In fact, Connections has quickly become the second most loved game after Wordle by the Times' readers.

Apple has previously broadened its offerings for Apple News+ subscribers by incorporating crossword puzzles into its services. Although it might seem unusual for a news platform to delve into gaming, this strategy has proven highly effective for the New York Times. The acquisition of Wordle in 2022, for an undisclosed amount, attracted "tens of millions" of new subscribers in a short period, highlighting the potential of integrating games into news services.

The launch of Quartiles in Apple News is currently in the beta testing phase, which doesn't guarantee its eventual release in iOS 17.5. However, considering the New York Times' success in blending gaming with news, it seems prudent for Apple to explore similar strategies, possibly focusing on creating new square-shaped games.

This exploration into gaming by news platforms indicates a shifting strategy to engage readers not just through news content but also interactive games. As both Apple News and the New York Times experiment with this blend, it will be interesting to see how gaming continues to shape the future of news consumption.