September 16, 2014 Last Updated 8:25 am

Time Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst and other publishers get their Newsstand apps ready for iOS 8

The release of iOS 7 last year taught many magazine publishers an important lesson: work with the beta versions of ne software to make sure your apps will continue to function

It amazes me how far we’ve come in four years regarding mobile and tablet publishing. The major publishers such as Condé Nast, Hearst, Time Inc, and many others have gotten into a rhythm regarding Apple’s iOS release schedule and are now ready whenever a new mobile operating system is about to be released.


TIME’s look on iPhone

Yesterday, and again today, Time Inc. issued updates for its portfolio of digital magazine apps, 24 in total under the Time Inc. developer account (then there are those in the UK). Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and other publishers are looking to avoid the mess they found themselves in following the release of iOS 7.

Last year, many publishers chose to take a wait-and-see approach to the new iOS as Apple was introducing a new look and feel. But what followed was a series of updates that needed to be issued to fix a long list of bugs. It is possible that publishers are finding the adjustment to iOS 8 easier (we’ll find out), or that they are simply ahead of the game.

The digital publishing platforms such as Mag+, MAZ and PressPad have let their publishing clients know that they are ready for the release of iOS 8 and that they can update their apps.

The app for TIME is case study in the evolution of the form. Time Inc. was ready for the release of the original iPad with an app developed with The Wonderfactory.

Here was the demo video from April 2010:

What evolved was an understanding of the way things would work with readers who were iPad owners. At first, TIME issued weekly apps, sold only single copy issues at the same price as at the newsstand. There were many things to work out, but the actual digital edition produced was, in the end, not the biggest hurdle to success. Should a magazine sell subscriptions, should they be discounted, should a magazine move into the Newsstand (when it was launched at the end of 2011)?

One lesson learned by the major publishers is that once a digital edition is launched, they are professional digital publishers. This sounds simple and a bit condescending. But the fact is that far too many publishers originally believed that being as knowledgeable about digital publishing technology as they are print was not going to be necessary. These things could be outsourced or left to a small group of techies. They paid the price every time a new app introduced bugs that drove away readers.

DPS-Brasil-iPadAdobe joined publishers today by issuing an iOS 8 related update for its own digital magazine app, Inspire. Adobe has two digital magazine apps in total, the other being CMO Magazine, which has not yet received an update.

Adobe’s list of iOS apps is rather interesting because one doesn’t stumble upon them very often unless they release something major for Photoshop, in which case the tech sites cover the release. But publishers should be aware of the Creative Cloud Tutorials app as well as the apps Adobe release periodically for events such as DPS Brasil 14.

Apple may be holding their own updates for tomorrow or Thursday but one app that was updated yesterday was iTunes, which is now at version 11.4. The update says that “iTunes 11.4 now supports the ability to sync your favorite music, movies, and more to devices with iOS 8.”

Apple will be releasing the Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite, at the end of next month (most likely) or early November. That launch will turn on many of the nicer new features in iOS 8 such as Continuity and the ability to make phone calls from your Mac (when you own an iPhone).

Any updates to programs such as iBooks Author would probably come at that time.

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