March 20, 2010 Last Updated 9:05 am

Week in Review


Short reads on a Saturday morning:

• Was the biggest news in B2B that Reed sold off Interior Design and its entire furniture division to Sandow Media, or that Nielsen didn’t announce it sold anything this week? Nielsen did manage to confirm that it had shuttered Sales & Marketing Management.

• The WSJ reported that Apple was “scrambling to secure iPad deals”. The story, written with the help of five staffers, quoted no one, provided no proof, but did manage to find new ways to not identify people. The story, of course, was picked up by other sites and aggregators.

But since the way iPad users access e-content from newspapers and magazines would be through either the iPad’s Safari web browser or through apps downloaded from iTunes the whole idea of “deals” simply makes no sense.

Then on Friday Apple sent out e-mails to its developers letting them know they are now accepting apps for review and approval. “iPad will begin shipping soon and your opportunity to be part of the grand opening of the iPad App Store starts today. Submit your iPad app now for an initial review by the App Review Team and receive feedback on its readiness for the grand opening.”

Since these initial apps must be developed and tested on a simulator, because only a select few chosen developers have actual iPads to work with, the vast majority of apps won’t be submitted and approved until well after the April 3rd “Grand Opening”. I suspect you’ll find the New York Times and possibly one or more Condé Nast or Hearst magazines with apps on Day One. But there will be a Day Two.

• The real news may have been that the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) decided to once again change its rules and redefine what a digital magazine is. In the past, a digital magazine had to be an exact duplicate of the print version. No more. As a result, tablet versions (read: iPad versions) can now incorporate multimedia and change layouts without risking the wrath of the ABC.

Publishers will have to submit their apps to the ABC for approval, but I suspect that this being the Wild West days of tablet publishing I don’t look for the ABC to stand in the way of many pioneers. The ABC has already approved the app for Wired magazine which will be available for the iPad starting with the June issue (has Apple approved the app?).

• Alexx Henry posted several videos to Vimeo demonstrating his iPad work for the online only VIVmag as well as Outside magazine. I posted the VIVmag video here, but no reason not to take advantage of Vimeo’s embed code by posting the Outside feature spread now.

Some have called this eye candy but I think that misses the point. Artists are always going to stretch the medium, especially at the medium’s birth. Think of the crazy camera work of some of the early silent films. (Not that old, huh?) I personally want to see what the tablet form can do, so I say go crazy and let readers be the final judge of what they like and are willing to pay for.

• If you liked that video, how about this one? For every good app developed for the iPhone there are literally hundreds of them that are, well, not so good. Here is an app that would make me want to throw my phone against the wall. Maybe your judgement will be different. By the way, the app will cost you $5.

• Oh, and in other news . . . the Iraq War turned seven, and the health care reform bill that will either a) give access to health insurance to millions, or b) bankrupt the country and create death panels, was set for a final vote in the House on Sunday. Have a great weekend.

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