Media app updates: Sporting News gets it right; App Publisher moves to TypeEngine platform

PressPad offers free InDesign templates for download

The bugs, they can be like getting rid of a winter cold, you think you are over them, then you find you are out of Kleenex.

SN-iPad-coverSporting News has been fighting bugs since the launch of version 3.0 of its Newsstand app in mid-December. A late January update to version 3.1 talked about some cosmetic changes, then said it “squashed some bugs.”

No such luck. Another update a week later to version 3.1.1 said that they knew of the crash problem and apologized in the app description. Two days later another update to version 3.1.2 fixed some issues, but admitted that they were not there yet.

“We are fully aware of the current stability issues,” the app description said. “We are working as hard as we can to resolve these frustrating issues and pushing through updates as quickly as the App Store can approve them,” the development team said.

You really have to feel for a publisher facing bugs like this, and you also need to recognize that Sporting News has been very transparent and forthright about the problems with their app.

Which is why, two days after the latest update, another has been released – version 3.1.3 – and according to the first couple of reader reviews they may have it right this time. Way to go, guys, well done. (Insert cliché about publishing being a marathon, not a sprint here.)

AdobeCV-iconWhat must be frightening for the SN team, and publishers everywhere, are the rumors of an iOS update for March. What are developers in store for is anyone’s guess.

Even Adobe has had to fight bugs, releasing an app update for its Adobe Content Viewer app (used to preview digital editions).

Paul Blake has updated his Newsstand app for App Publisher, moving the digital publication over to the TypeEngine platform.

TypeEngine produces a Kindle-like digital magazine experience. The digital publishing solution allows you to adjust the fonts and screen brightnes, which produces a very easy to read digital magazine. But the solution also is more akin to the web in that the page designs are basic compared to native tablet digital publishing solutions that use InDesign or Quark as their starting point.

AppPub-typeengine(You can read more about TypeEngine’s platform in the Guide to Digital Publishing Platforms inside the Tablet Publishing app. Warning, the app will be pulled soon as we migrate the Guide online.)

Speaking of digital publishing platforms… PressPad is offering four templates for InDesign. The price to download the templates is signing up on the website.

The idea of providing free templates is a great way to encourage citizen publishers to use the platform. MagCast has been attracting citizen publishers to use their platform, so there is no reason why PressPad could not attract the same prospects. The downside of PressPad, which has the unique model of charging only the first $299 earned from every issue, remains branding – all PressPad apps appear under their developer account name, something to consider when naming your magazine app.

(And yes, all the platforms mentioned in this post – Adobe, MagCast, PressPad and TypeEngine – have interactive pages in the Guide inside the Tablet Publishing app.)

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