“Apple News Explores a Game Resembling NYT Connections in Newly Launched Feature”

Apple News is testing a new game for iOS 17.5 called Quartiles, which requires players to organize a grid of 20 syllables into 5 four-syllable words. Spotted by Gadget Hacks, the interface for Quartiles looks a lot like the New York Times’ newest hit, Connections. Did Apple News sherlock the New York Times? While it may appear odd for a news aggregator to continue investing in games, that’s exactly what has been working for the New York Times. But given that the New York Times is low-key running a gaming studio now, it’s not a bad idea for Apple to churn out some new, preferably square-shaped games.

Apple News Testing a New Game for iOS 17.5

Apple News is currently conducting a trial of its latest game “Quartiles” for iOS 17.5. The game involves organizing a grid of 20 syllables into 5 four-syllable words. Spotted by Gadget Hacks, the interface for Quartiles bears a striking resemblance to the popular game “Connections” by The New York Times. Is Apple News imitating The New York Times’ success?

While Quartiles shares similarities with “Connections,” it differs in the sense that players are required to piece together words from their individual components, much like the classic game “Boggle.” However, there seems to be an inexplicable allure towards finding groups of four, as evidenced by the success of “Connections” – now The New York Times’ second most popular game after “Wordle.”

Last year, Apple News incorporated crossword and mini crossword puzzles for its Apple News+ subscribers. While it may seem peculiar for a news aggregator to prioritize gaming, the strategy has been highly effective for The New York Times. In fact, when the publication acquired “Wordle” in 2022 for an undisclosed seven-figure sum, it resulted in a surge of “tens of millions” of new users in just one quarter. Recent data from the Times indicates that users are spending more time playing games than consuming news.

The New York Times has essentially evolved into a gaming company, as evidenced by the amount of time its customers spend on its games.

From ValueAct, Data estimated by Yipit, Source: https://t.co/hdSkS5oF25

Apple is currently in the beta testing phase for Quartiles, so there is no guarantee that it will be featured in iOS 17.5. However, considering The New York Times’ unexpected success in the gaming industry, it’s a wise move for Apple to explore new opportunities in this realm – the square-shaped gaming world.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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