October 10, 2013 Last Updated 3:22 pm

Newsstand categories: Regional News, a rarely used home for tablet newspapers and magazine

The Newsstand continues to get crowded with new publications launched every week. But not all categories are jammed packed with new apps. As with anyone trying to come up with appropriate categories, there are occasionally categories created that prove less popular. Regional News is one of them.

There are lots of digital publications that might find Regional News an appropriate category to use – every metro and local newspaper, for instance. But I would suspect that a paper like the Chicago Tribune doesn’t feel it is only about regional and local news, despite the cries of some editors of “local, local, local.”

As a result, the Regional Category (for iPad) is home to only two paid apps in total – The Hard Music App and Irish World Newspaper, both charging $0.99.

YRK-iPad-lgUnder free, where the vast majority of Newsstand apps would naturally appear, there are only 132 total apps. Most are local magazines that revel in their localness, and a few local newspapers that understand that their job is not to bring readers the national or international news.

Some apps seem a bit out of place. For instance, Augsburg Now is surely from Augsburg, Germany I would have thought. But instead it is from Augsburg College. But there is no Education category inside the Newsstand so the app has to go someplace.

The Regional News category is occasionally used to promote a region, such as the app for York, Pennsylvania called YRK Magazine. The app is a good lesson in not judging a book, or digital magazine, by its cover (or app icon).

The digital publication appears in landscape, generally a sign of a native tablet edition. But YRK Magazine, while beautifully designed, is actually a replica edition. The tell-tale sign is the fact that there are left-right page folios here, and the magazine pages don’t quite match the size of the iPad’s display.

The app also has a big mistake in it as after page 27 there is suddenly a giant open space. I almost gave up, thinking that maybe the issue had not downloaded completely. But after a number of swipes page 28 suddenly appeared and I could proceed to the rest of the issue.

DC-iPad-col-lgDubois County Forward also promotes its region, in this case the county of Jasper and Portersville Indiana.

The app appears under a personal developer account – Matthew Crane, who along with Kathleen Hasting is credited as being the publication’s editor.

“We can’t say it’s hot off the press because dcForward is a tablet magazine – a first for the area,” writes the magazine’s editorial team in the introductory column.

“In fact, it’s really no more a magazine than the chair you are sitting on. Oh what you have is full of words and pictures, but in a wholly unique interface.”

The app is designed in portrait-only and uses the Mag+ platform to build its Newsstand, Google Play and Amazon apps.