Apple News Knowledge Base

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Technical Requirements

FlatPlan handles the display and distribution of your content. All we need from you is the content, delivered via an RSS/Atom feed. The ‘full’ feed that comes as standard with your CMS will be a sufficient basis on which to build the feed. See below for a breakdown of our feed requirements. Please ensure your feed meets these standards.

We need your feed to be valid, well-structured and contain everything we need. By this, we mean:

  • Valid: confirmed by W3C validator as ‘valid’
  • Well-structured: following the guidance below
  • Everything we need: includes every story you wish to appear on Apple News, contain all the metadata outlined and all the article body elements e.g. paragraphs, headings, media (visual and social).

Feed details and structure


FlatPlan supports RSS 2.0 or Atom


We fetch your feed regularly so we require a minimum of 50 items per page.

Character encoding

FlatPlan only supports UTF-8


FlatPlan requires the following namespaces

TypeURLRecommended Namespace
DCMI Metadata Terms
RDF Site Summary 1.0 Modules: Content
FlatPlan format extension
Media syndication

Elements(RSS 2.0)


Specifies XML document version and character code

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>


Specifies RSS version and namespaces.

<rss version="2.0" xmlns:media="" xmlns:flatplan="" xmlns:dc="" xmlns:content="" > ... </rss>


A description of your website

Sub ElementRequiredExplanationExample
Title of the publication (HTML not supported) The Daily News
URL of the publication
Published date and time (must comply with RFC822) Sun, 14 Oct 2019 05:00:00 GMT
The last date and time the content of the feed was updatedMon, 15 Oct 2019 07:23:00 GMT
A category to which the feed belongsNews
Articles (explained below) See below


Describes each article

Sub ElementRequiredExplanationExample
Unique numerical identifier of the article098765
Title of the article (HTML not supported)FlatPlan launches another publication on Apple News
Canonical URL of article
Date and time the article was published (must comply with RFC822)Mon, 15 Oct 2019 07:23:00 GMT
< media:thumbnail>
The URL of an image to represent the article. Will be used in the article feeds and as the lead image of the article (send largest available version)
Author of the aricleA.N. Other
All elements of the article including text, images, media and embedsSee below
The introduction to the articleThe latest publication makes full use of Apple News format with minimal effort
The category the article pertains toNews
Name of template specific to FlatPlanFeature
Name of article sponsorApple

It is possible to pass gallery data. Use the custom HTML tag found in the example below.

View a sample RSS document on Github

Allowed HTML elements

Ensure the following:

  • All text data should be presented as HTML with appropriate tags and be encoded as character data with UTF-8 encoding.
  • All metadata included that precedes <content:encoded> and is used to describe the article is not also included in <content:encoded>(e.g. repetition of thumbnail image)
  • All URL paths are absolute. This includes those used for media assets and article links.

Validation Tool

Please refer to

Disallowed Characters

If characters which are not allowed by XML specification are included in a document, we can not parse them correctly. For more information about XML specification, please see

Date Format of <pubDate>

The value of <pubDate> must be specified in accordance with RFC822 (


Please specify a timezone using one of the following notations:

  • Greenwich Mean Time (GMT or +0000)
  • Timezone to which the website belongs (eg. PST or -0800 for New York)

For example, the following are correct notation to express “May 1, 2019 15:00:00 (PST)“:

  • Wed, 1 May 2019 23:00:00 GMT
  • Wed, 1 May 2019 15:00:00 -0800


For language settings follow these guidelines for support codes


Supported image types are JPEG (.jpeg or .jpg) GIF, or PNG.

The minimum size of the image must be 300 px wide x 300 px high.

The aspect ratio (width ÷ height) must be between 0.5 and 3.0.



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