Media app updates: NYT, Penton Media B2B titles, Citygram among recent apps to update

The app description of iStoryTime. the children’s books app, asks “Does anyone read these notes anymore now that iOS 7 has automatic updates? I guess the answer to anyone reading this is yes.” Adding “Which is cool. We like readers.”

screen568x568The makers of the app may be having a bit of fun, but it is still a good question. With more and more iOS users allowing their apps to be updated automatically, is there a good reason to explain the updates in the app description? Many developers have started to simply say “bug fixes” or even copy and paste the last update language into the app description. Obviously TNM likes to know what it in the latest updates which is why automatic updates is turned off on all devices. (Also, those occasional bad updates can be avoided.)

The New York Times updated its main iOS apps today – NYTimes for iPhone, NYTimes for iPad, and NYT Now – and seems to have gone for copy and paste as the app descriptions say they are fixes issues that the last update claimed to fix (sectioning).

MeetingsNet-iPadThe B2B media company Penton Media updated several of its apps recently. The company has 47 iPad apps inside the Apple App Store, 48 for the iPhone. The apps are mostly universal, stand-alone apps created by partners such as Core-Apps which makes apps for trade shows (the app World Pork Expo 2014 being an example), and GTxcel, which makes replica editions 9the app for iPro Developer being an example).

Another app, for MeetingsNet, was also updated last month. This app is a bit different in that it uses the Mag+ platform to create its Newsstand app. The app is unique for a B2B in that it’s mission is to combine the content of many different editions that are in print. The app is also universal, which is a strategy I continue to question for many digital editions. Like many other digital editions, MeetingsNet looks designed first and foremost for the iPad. The pages designs and fonts are attractive and a pleasure to read. But the iPhone edition is just a replica of the iPad edition, and therefore is just as hard to read as a replica of a print edition.

The app offers the issues free of charge, and like almost all apps, it contains no qualification mechanism, something B2B publishers would definitely love to see Apple implement. According to the BPA website, the MeetingsNet editions have dropped their audits, though I see that this was not an across-the-board decision by Penton and many of their other titles, such as American City & County, remain BPA audited.

One app that remains in the Apple Newsstand, though it was recently shuttered, is iPro Developer. The digital magazine was one of two Penton was producing for the IBM i community – the IBM midrange systems known as the IBM i.

Two apps that I have written about in the past that I consider very interesting were also updated.

Citygram is a city magazine for Austin, Texas, and is digital-only. Published by former IBMer Chris Perez, Citygram was featured in the book Talking Digital (iBooks link, also available in print via Amazon.com) because of it is a pioneer, while most established city/regional magazines had decided to go the PDF replica route.

WineLR-iconThe latest edition of Citygram, by the way, actually features the city of San Antonio.

Another digital magazine I’ve written about on a couple of occasions is Wine LR, the wine tablet-only magazine about the Languedoc Roussillon region of France (see a video of the app here).

Created by Balthazer Matita, the app is unique because it is really a video magazine, and as such is designed in landscape to better display its video content.

The latest update makes the app and its content free of charge to access, so if you have not looked at this app then now is the time.

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