August 16, 2013 Last Updated 7:01 am

Tribune Interactive updates the Chicago Tribune’s photography magazine app… a bit

The Chicago Tribune’s photography magazine app, released originally at the beginning of the year has received its first update since then. The update brings with it a new user interface, as well as access to the privacy policy – a bit of legalese that in the past few would care about, but today seems to be very relevant, indeed.

Tribune Interactive has been more inactive than active, at least as far as the app store is concerned. But this Photography app has much going for it.

When Chicago Tribune Photography was first released into the Apple Newsstand it really all about its Photos of the Year. In fact, that post I wrote about the app (designed for the old website) talked about the face that the subscription price was $0.99 and the price for the single issue was the same, meaning that readers should not expect lots more issues.

ChiTribPhoto-iPad-lgIn fact, Tribune Interactive made a very nice app and then made a complete mess of its implementation.

Rather than this being an app with only one year-end issue, the app has been housing the Trib’s photo publications. Six different photo magazines can be found inside app’s store, and another five are offered for free inside the library.

Unfortunately, who knows? The app description still has only one screenshot, from the original Photos of the Year issue, and the icon is from the Inauguration issue. The What’s New section mentions the Inauguration issue, but that was written back on January 28.

Usually whoever is in charge of developing an app also maintains the app description. That is probably not the case at the Trib. It’s too bad, this is a mess and really is destroying the chances that this app will reach its intended audience.

Is it really possible that there are newspaper executives out there that look at their photography staffs as merely expenses? Why wouldn’t all major metro newspapers consider their photo staffs as content machines capable of producing not only great journalism for the paper and website, but eBooks and digital magazine products, as well,

This is the potential of this particular app, and others like it.

It is a strange world where someone can sit in the corporate offices of a newspaper and not see the potential their staff has for producing new digital products – you would have thought we were way, way past that by now. Yet layoffs continue in the name of going digital first, while very few new digital products are at the same time launched.

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