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Apple News is testing a game similar to NYT Connections

Apple News is testing a new game for iOS 17.5 called Quartiles, which requires players to organize a grid of 20 syllables into five four-syllable words. Gadget Hacks discovered that Quartiles’ interface looks a lot like the New York Times’ latest hit, Connections. Did Apple News investigate The New York Times?

Well, quartiles aren’t exactly like joins, where you organize sixteen words into four cohesive categories of four. It’s probably closer to something like Boggle in that you’re testing your ability to put words together from their component parts. But these days, it seems we’re finding the appeal of finding a foursome indeed—Connections is now the New York Times’ second-most popular game, behind only Wordle.

Image Source: gadget hacker (opens in new window)

Last year, Apple added crossword puzzles and mini-crossword puzzles for Apple News+ subscribers. While it may seem odd that a news aggregator would continue to invest in gaming, that’s exactly what The New York Times has always done. When the newspaper acquired Wordle Games for an undisclosed seven-figure sum in 2022, the acquisition brought in “tens of millions” of new users in just one quarter. Over the past few months, New York Times data has shown that users have spent more time playing games than reading news.

Apple is only beta testing Quartiles, which doesn’t mean it will definitely appear in iOS 17.5. But considering that The New York Times is now running a low-key game studio, it might be a good idea for Apple to launch some new, preferably square, games.

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