June 20, 2014 Last Updated 3:38 pm

Pioneer in native tablet editions by brands, Santee Cooper, launches new PowerSource app

New Apple Newsstand app, under a different app name, replaces original digital edition launched back in January of 2013

There have been few media app updates released today, as if the Apple App Store team were taking a long weekend. But one of the Newsstand app updates released today deserves mentioning.

Powersource-iPadPowerSource is a quarterly magazine produced by the South Carolina public utility, Santee Cooper. About a year and a half ago the utility launched a digital edition of its consumer magazine. It caught my attention first because few utilities, and actually very few brands other that the automakers, were releasing digital editions then. But Santee Cooper was quite a pioneer as they used the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to create its app.

Today that app was updated to version 3.0.

Actually, saying it was updated is not quite right. The old app was called PowerSource, the name of the magazine. But today they released a brand new app – and because they had used the name of the magazine for the old app was forced to call the new one Santee Cooper. (The lesson, which I’ve tried to beat into TNM readers, is that you would be wise not to name your app after the magazine without appending it a bit.)

The app still uses he Adobe DPS to produce a native tablet edition, and it still looks great.

But after having several discussions this week with magazine people who, four years after the launch of the iPad, still don’t consider tablet apps a digital publishing platform but only another way to display their print magazine, it is good to be reminded that the world has long moved on and these people are being left behind. If mobile and tablets are not digital (they consider only the web to be digital) then what exactly is it? For me, this attitude is reminiscent of those who said only print mattered, that the web was a distraction. Now many of the same publishing people are so sure that only the web matters and all other digital platforms are somehow irrelevant, or a waste of time.

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