Comment: A news focused Apple Start Page would be a welcome upgrade for Safari

A few weeks ago, I was having some issues where I couldn’t get my VPN to work on my laptop. I was running the beta of macOS Catalina, so I decided to fix the problem by just reformatting and setting up my laptop from scratch. Thanks to iCloud and the Mac App Store, doing a new install of macOS is pretty easy time-wise. It did fix the problem, but as I was changing my Safari Start Page back to DuckDuckGo, I had a thought. Why hasn’t Apple built a default “Start Page” for Safari to create a tremendous first-run experience for Apple products?

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Plenty of internet service providers are already in this business (including my own ISP). My first job out of college was working for a small ISP in Ringgold, GA. They were on the cutting edge then, and they are now offering fiber all over the city. One of the projects I came up with was integrating a dedicated Google Search box into the start page that every ISP customer had by default if they wanted our technicians to set them up on their PC/Mac. You can view an link to what the site looked like a few years ago. They’ve since moved it to a simplified e-mail login page, but the Google Search box remains. I’ve been gone from that company for a decade, but a project I helped with is still making “mailbox money” (meaning that a check arrives without a single person doing anything to make it). Here are some ideas I have for an Apple Start Page.

Built-in DuckDuckGo search for Apple Start Page

It’s well known that Apple makes billions per year by allowing Google to be the default search engine in Safari. DuckDuckGo also has ads (not tracking ones), so let’s move that business model over to DuckDuckGo and make it the default search engine for a new Apple Start Page. It could be a simple box on the page which a link to an explanation to what DuckDuckGo is, and why Apple recommends it.

Apple News headlines

Apple News is a crucial part of the macOS and iOS experience now. I have some issues with the paid subscription version, but the entire app experience is great overall. As it continues to expand to more countries, Apple could include vetted articles from prominent sources on its Apple Start Page. As all publishers continue to fight against fake news spreading, Apple could be a key player in informing the public of what’s happening around the world every time they load Safari.

Apple product tips

Another section of an Apple Start Page could be tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Apple products. It could include how to take the best photos, new apps to try, and links to the App Store editorial content, details about iCloud, and more. The more people understand how to use their products, the more likely they will be to purchase upgraded models in the future.

Wrap-up on Apple Start Page

I had never considered this product until I was setting up my laptop from scratch a few weeks ago. The more I think about it, the more I believe it would be an ideal service from Apple. It would be a tremendous first-run experience for the customer, provide timely news, and help people get the most out of their Apple products. What do you think? If Apple created a new Start Page, would you set it as your homepage? I’d love to hear your comments below.

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