November 27, 2013 Last Updated 11:45 am

Apple clear out app updates prior to Thanksgiving Day holiday

TNM to be closed down Thursday through Sunday for the holiday

The Thanksgiving holiday is tomorrow here in the States and Apple will need to clear out as many apps from the review process as possible today. This morning a number of app updates appeared inside my iTunes program, and one can expect more later today.

Apple-appreviewApple gives developers a status clock (developer account needed to access link) in its iTunesConnect website that shows how well they are clearing apps and app reviews. It is hard to tell how accurate the report is as I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it change much. It always seems to show that one can pretty much expect any app one submits to go through the app review process in five days.

Our own app, Tablet Publishing – Winter 2013, took exactly five days. The app was submitted on November 5 and we heard nothing until the morning of the 11th when an email alerted us that the app was in review. Two hours later another email alerted us that the app was ready for the store. (It was on the 12th that we learned that the app account was messed up and would have to be fixed by Apple’s tax team – more on that experience here.)

One can infer from the clock that very few apps are actually rejected by Apple. This apparent one sees the number of bogus Newsstand apps now appearing. I’ve tried on many occasions to get Apple to comment on these apps which appear rather normal but are really just attempts to sell annual subscriptions for apps that don’t have monthly magazines appear. One developer has created three separate accounts and uploaded over 100 apps, but has no intention to actually publishing anything (how could one person publish over 100 monthly magazines? You would think Apple’s app team would ask themselves that question). A Russian developer is launching Newsstand apps that say they are lifestyle magazines, but once the app is installed on your iPad the library delivers soft core porn titles of another name.

Back in the real world of publishing, app updates are the norm. Game Informer, the magazine that claims the largest digital circulation of any consumer title, has received a bug fix update. The magazine has a digital circulation of nearly 3 million, accounting for the lion’s share to audited digital circulation in any AAM report. The magazine has this giant digital circa because it is distributed as part of GameStop’s store loyalty program, not because the publisher has cracked the success secret of the Apple Newsstand (too bad).

seo_cw_productB2B publisher Macfadden has updated its three Newsstand apps today: Grocery Headquarters, Pizza Today and Beverage World have been updated for “application improvements.” The apps use Mag+ to create their Newsstand apps and digital editions.

A little story you may, or may not, be interested in. When we were creating our TabPub app, Konstantinos Antonopoulos, the designer, was working on ideas for the article layouts. He created a nice design for the B2B tablet edition story written by Paul Conley that you can find in the digital magazine. The story featured a picture of Wired magazine and a tablet. That Wired cover featured Steve Jobs on it and was perfect – expect for the little detail that Wired can’t be considered a B2B magazine and so would have to be replaced. It pained me to have to insist on changing that layout, but we substituted a picture I took of Macfadden’s print edition of Grocery Headquarters and the tablet edition.

One can probably expect a flood of other updates to be cleared as the day wears on.

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