App updates: first mention of iOS 8 in update; Zinio adds batch downloading; Vine update will boast video content
Condé Nast updates its app for Golf World: the print edition has been shuttered, but now readers can sign up for a subscription to the digital edition free of charge
The Apple iPhone event is less than three weeks away, and with the introduction of the newest smartphone models will come an announcement on when device owners will be able to start updating their devices to iOS 8 (generally about a week following the iPhone event). Until then, most app updates will be for bug fixes and other tweaks. Once iOS 8 is released we can expect a flood of updates.
Today, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was the first media company that I am aware of to mention iOS 8 in their app update for CBC News. The update, which brings the app up to version 2.3.0, adds a new audio player for the iPhone version, plus updates the video player. It also contains bug fixes.
But the app description also contains two warnings. The first is that the update is crucial for users: “this is a mandatory update for users of this app. please update in order to continue using CBC News for iOS 6 and 7.”
The second warnings states that users can expect another update coming very soon as iOS 8 is released: “Note: For users planning to upgrade to iOS 8, stay tuned for a special app update! Coming soon!”
As many iPhone and iPad device owners now allow their devices to update apps automatically, these messages contains in the app description probably will not reach many users, but it is still a good idea to opening communicate with users in this way (and a big reason I manually update apps).
Zinio updated the iOS app for its digital newsstand on Tuesday night. The app, now called Zinio – 5,000+ Digital Magazines, adds batch downloading of magazines for those who want several new issues to read before jumping on a plane, for instance. The ability to batch download needs to be turned on by users inside Settings.
The update also tweaks a few things such as increasing the size of thumbnails inside the Library, and improving the sharing of articles through Facebook, Twitter or email.
The app for Vine was updated yesterday and the update may be the most important so far for the short video social networking tool.
Until the update, Vine users needed to use the Vine app when capturing video content. But most people just shoot video using the camera app. The update now allows users to import video from the camera roll and then edit them down to the six second limit. This makes the app way, way more useful for most users and lets the app focus on its social networking function.
The app update also adds some additional functionality for those using the Vine app to shoot video, but the ability to import from the camera roll will encourage a lot of people to begin using the Vine app.
Two other apps to mentions: yesterday TNM mentioned the introduction of an API for Uber and that the company is now partnering with 11 other apps including OpenTable. One of those apps was for United Airlines. Today United updated its app and mentions the addition of Uber services.
Also: three weeks ago Condé Nast announced that Golf World would be shuttered and go digital-only. Today the universal app for Golf World was updated and brought up to version 6.72.
The app has one of the strangest app icons for a Newsstand magazine app: an irregular landscape icon. The reason for this is that this isn’t really a digital magazine built for iPhone or iPad reading, but a flipbook created by GTxcel for online browser reading, converted for an app. Most magazines use portrait icons, even if the digital magazine is designed for landscape reading, in order to differentiate the publication from newspaper apps which generally use landscape icons.
There is no rule for icons inside Newsstand, and one might argue that the creation of an oddly shaped icon helps readers find Golf World in their Newsstand folder.
In any case, the app now offers its issues free of charge if the reader signs up for a subscription. Whether enough readers will sign up to encourage Condé Nast to continue the publication will now be the test.