September 9, 2014 Last Updated 7:47 pm

What digital publishers can learn from Apple before their event

PressPad’s lead iOS developer Simon Fortuna give us a glimpse at what to expect from Apple’s special event and the introduction of iOS 8

While I am writing this words, everyone here is waiting for special Apple’s event, trying to decipher what mysterious “a whole lot more” means. Should we bother?

Apple seems to be on the verge of something new and I am sure that every single digital publishing company is monitoring what is going on on the Apple horizon. App Store is changing, the whole product line is evolving and so does their mobile operating system. Today we will probably see the full scope of the new, awesome iOS8 features and their connected services. Personally I am very excited to see how much this giant [Apple] is agile achieving their business goals.

Apple-live-screenApple has recently improved its iTunes Connect in order to meet app publishers’ growing requirements. Developers expect to see detailed analytics so, the whole incoming traffic to the App Store will be demystified. In our case it will mean a lot more as we at PressPad bond our revenue with our publishers’. So from that moment we will be able to point out exactly what to do, and WHERE, in order to increase traffic coming to the particular magazine app. Hopefully public rolling out of this new analytics will be announced during today’s special event.

Of course there are areas to improve like the mythical app approving process. But from the other hand I can understand frictions that may occur if app publishers send batches of 80 apps for approval – like we at PressPad recently did.

Holding the status quo?

For years Apple was not afraid to make their own path. Do you remember the wave of complaints when iOS7 has been introduced together with its slick, flat designed user interface that polarized Apple community worldwide? What inspires me is the fact that Apple does not hold their status quo, they always challenge themselves and their customers, and this is what we learn from Apple every day.

PressPad-iPhone5-W-lgThat kept us conscious when we were changing our business model a year ago to challenge these publishers for whom formerly existing digital publishing solutions were not affordable. And we do it again introducing a new version of our magazine app, which is opening a lot new possibilities for magazine publishers. These are video and sound support and Internet of Things (IoT) technology integration that will allow to create a Free Reading Zone at the certain location. What’s more there are several new things that will be rolling out in coming weeks that will lift user experience at the higher, more personal level.

Beyond iOS 8

New mobile operating system from Apple is here. We’ve had access to beta builds of iOS8 since day one and did our best to adjust to changes, making transition to new operating system and new devices seamless. I thought to myself that as a marketing fellow it would be ridiculous to write about iOS8 deeper so I asked my teammate, PressPad’s lead iOS developer Simon Fortuna (@fortunajs) to give us a glimpse into his understanding of what the best is coming.

Why users will be delighted with new features that will be created upon iOS8?

Simon Fortuna: Apple’s software vision is all about delivering the perfect user experience to the end user. iOS8 makes it even better – users always know what permissions the app asks for and why, and connection between multiple devices running iOS will be definitely better. Imagine starting reading an article in a bus on an iPhone and continuing reading it on an iPad. This is possible now thanks to Handoff. Following Apple’s vision on perfect UX (User Experience) embedding the rich media into our new app has been integrated automatically and don’t need any interaction of the publisher! It’s simple as creating a link in their DTP software and the app do all the rest.

Does iOS8 give more opportunities for digital publishing companies?

SF: Yes, system is more open and easily accessible by developers. You can for example customize push notifications alerts to make users even more engaged with your marketing message! I’m personally excited about third party keyboards and HomeKit – a hub for a home automation. This might be a great base for possible future app integrations such as adaptive graphical themes within the magazine, based on the time of the day or the room lighting.

Answering the question stated in the title of this article I think that both app developers and publishers can learn that creating unique experience is at least as much important as creating new features and adding more content. Sometimes, however, it requires bravery to challenge status quo often enough to succeed.

Wojciech Szywalski is a Project & Content Marketing Manager at PressPad – a digital publishing and marketing platform for magazine publishers. He is also a co-editor of Digital Publishing Guide magazine. Passionate dad of two and LEGO hacker. You can follow him on Twitter @wojteksz and connect on LinkedIn.

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