As part of the iOS 17 update to its iPhone software, Apple has added some fun games and games to the News app. If you subscribe to the Apple News Plus service, you can now access daily crosswords if you know where to find them.
Right now, iOS 17 includes a few daily games: a full crossword puzzle and a faster 5×5 grid called a Crossword Mini. Every day, Apple published new games, and if you miss a day, you can view an archive of past puzzles in the News app.
Crosswords are a nice addition to the News app, so much so that they might convince you to bump up the $12.99 monthly fee Apple charges for News Plus. (If you’re already a News Plus subscriber, the puzzles are a great added value.) Like any game, crosswords provide a fun break from your workday while also stimulating your brain. The only question about their arrival in News is why Apple didn’t add it sooner.
Well, there’s one more question about crosswords: where can you find them in the often cluttered News app? Here’s how to find crossword puzzles in the News app on your iPhone and how to play after you find the puzzles.
How to find crossword puzzles in iOS 17 news
There’s no dedicated Puzzles tab in News, nor is there a drop-down menu in the app that takes you straight to the new crossword feature. Instead, Apple appears to have included several ways to find crosswords in News, most of which rely on discovery.
At first I had some luck when I went to the News+ tab at the bottom of the News app screen and scrolled through the articles until I found a link to crossword puzzles. While that will certainly work, here’s a more direct route to iOS 17’s new crosswords.
Please note that these steps assume this is the case iOS 17 downloaded and installed.
1. Launch the News app
Launch the News app And go to the Next tab – it’s the one on the far right.
2. Select Puzzles
On the Next tab you will see Puzzles listed at the top of the page. Tap Puzzlesand you’ll be taken to the main Puzzles page, which contains the latest crosswords, plus an archive of past puzzles.
3. Subscribe to Apple News Plus
Tap on a puzzle let’s get you started playing – if you’re already an Apple News Plus subscriber. Otherwise, you’ll be asked to sign up for Apple News Plus. Tap the Get Started button — if you haven’t subscribed to Apple News Plus before, you might see an offer for a month of free service — and then Follow the instructions on the screen to confirm your purchase.
You are now ready to play crosswords in the news app. In the future, you should be able to find a new daily puzzle by going to the Puzzles section of the Following tab.
How to play crossword puzzles in iOS 17 news
Completing a crossword puzzle is fairly easy in the News app, although there are a few quirks regarding the interface that you’ll need to get used to.
Clues appear just above the keyboard, and the puzzle itself highlights the squares you’re trying to fill. To switch between Over and Down prompts, tap the prompt itself.
If you prefer to see stacks of clues instead of the grid layout of the puzzle, tap the list icon in the top menu of the crossword puzzle. You’ll see a display of the clues plus how many letters each word requires.
You can decide whether or not you want to show how long it takes to complete a puzzle. Tap the clock icon above the puzzle to display the time; tap again to hide it, if you find it distracting.
You need a hint to make sure you’re on the right track. Click the Review icon on the right side of the top menu. There is an automatic check feature that, when enabled, will show you have used the wrong letter by drawing a red line through your mistake. From this menu you can also check words and individual squares.
And that’s a look at how crossword puzzles work in iOS 17 News. Looking for more help with Apple’s latest iPhone software update? We’ve taken a look at 11 hidden iOS 17 features you might have missed. We can also show you how to share passwords with trusted people in iOS 17 and how to send callers to voicemail with one tap.