Media app updates: PublishSoSimply, publishing and app magazine replica editions
The tech community is pretty sure that Apple will be releasing an update for iOS 7 within the month of March. Many predicted it would land this last week ahead of an update to Apple’s iTunes Festival update. But that update came and went and still no update for iOS 7. Currently developers are on iOS 7.1 beta 5, and if you haven’t heard of all the crazy great new features…. it is because there aren’t any, just minor tweaks and enhancements.
Many developers of publishing apps continue to deal with bugs in their apps following the release of iOS 7 back in the fall. This weekend a number of media app updates were released, though none dramatically changed their apps.
PublishSoSimply, which is one of a number of apps that attempt to get others to create content for their own app – think Flipboard, Zite, etc. – updated its stand-alone app. The concept is that you won’t mind your new digital magazine being buried inside their app, and the company monetizing your efforts, because there is no cost for building the digital magazine. But the concept does not appear to be catching on with either citizen or professional publishers, based on the lack of digital magazines to be found inside the app – most were created by the company themselves, though to be fair, the app has only been around since early November of last year.
PressPad, another company with Polish roots, has been updating the apps using its platform, including this weekend, its own Digital Publishing Guide app. The app is the company’s own digital magazine created for marketing purposes. The update fixes issues with push notifications.
Imagine Publishing has been issuing updates for its Newsstand apps, including for Apps Magazine. The updates are designed to fix bugs in their replica edition apps, but the problem the publisher is having with the apps is fairly minor compared to the app strategy overall. Many of their magazines involve technology – apps, software, etc. – and so would be read by tech savvy readers. But their apps are not very tech savvy at all and so probably does their brands more harm than good.
One UK publisher that produces both native and replica editions is Future plc – which, of course, uses its own FutureFolio digital publishing platform. One of the apps they have updated is their own annual report. Future plc Annual Report is, as you would guess, a native app that reproduces the company’s earnings report in digital magazine format – a totally logical thing to do for a publisher demonstrating their digital chops.
The update, though, is a bit of a mystery as it simply reproduces the same language in the app description as the previous update. Future’s fiscal year ended at the end of September so there doesn’t appear to be any new information inside the app. In any case, the app download is free so it is worth checking out if you are a digital publisher or a brand thinking of producing an annual report in digital form.
The Columbia Journalism Review’s Newsstand app also was updated. It appears under the Magzter account name and is, like the other magazines using the platform, a replica edition. The update is part of a series of updated being issued by Magzter that bring in bookmarks and update the interface.