Hearst updates Food Network Magazine app, adds social media sharing, recipe save mechanism
Hearst’s Food Network Magazine has received an app update today, adding social media sharing, as well as a way to save recipes and other article features into folders. The Newsstand app is universal, though the new features are currently exclusive to the iPad version and will require another update to bring to the iPhone edition.
Like the other Hearst magazine apps, the Food Network Magazine app is pretty conservative. It is built so that it almost looks like a replica edition, but with interactivity. But the important thing for readers is that the editorial pages are reformatted for the iPad’s specs so that the fonts are appropriately sized for easy reading. The iPhone edition, however, feels forced, with its pages missized and reading incredibly difficult.
The update adds some welcome features. The social media sharing is all overdue, but at least it is now there.
The new Albums feature allows readers to save their recipes into folders, where the reader can refer to them when it is time to cook. The feature is not very intuitive, but at least it allows the reader an easy way to save recipes and other features. Essentially the feature takes a picture of what you want to save and puts it into a folder you create and name for later use.
The digital edition for Food Network Magazine is held back by the fact that is a standard Hearst magazine app. That means the layouts are in portrait only. Most iPad stands only allow for landscape (the rather expensive stand from the cooking store Williams-Somoma allows for portrait, but not landscape – you simply can’t win).
Food Network Magazine’s app also is handicapped by the fact that Hearst may publish the magazine, but it doesn’t own the television network. One would expect a tablet edition of a magazine that is built off the brand of the TV network to have lots of video content, but that is not the case.
Like all Hearst magazine apps, reader reviews inside iTunes are very much negative. But the big issue readers complain about is Hearst’s policy of forcing print subscribers to pay for digital. Readers hate the policy, but Hearst’s brands are so popular that they policy continues to work for them, so no one should expect a change any time soon.