October 9, 2014 Last Updated 8:31 am

Adobe MAX thoughts, Apple event expectations, media app updates for iOS 8 continue

Time Inc. updates its Apple Newsstand app for PEOPLE magazine, adding in iPhone support, which other publishers begin to discontinue support for older operating systems and iPad models

The Adobe MAX event took me from my desk for much of this week – a rarity as I make it a policy to never attend events designed simply to the pick the pockets of publishers (meaning most events). I thank Jake Sebastian from Aquafadas, Davide Ruggiero and Wojtek Szywalski of PressPad for contributing guest columns this week.

Adobe MAX is an event well worth attending, but I would highly recommend attending the labs, possibly arriving early to attend the labs on Saturday and Sunday.

Sadly, I saw very few designers, art directors, production people from newspapers or magazines (in fact, none). Of the nearly 6,000 attendees, the vast majority appeared to be from companies looking to use Adobe products in their digital publications, product design, etc. I admit that it has been years since I attended an event such as Adobe MAX, but my memory is that publishing used to be the leader when it came to… publishing. Think about it, the one industry most hesitant to invest in education and training in new publishing technology and techniques in digital publishing is our own.


Apple made it official earlier this week: it will hold its iPad event on Thursday, October 16 – a few days earlier that I predicted (I also wrongly predicted most the MLB playoffs, as well).

The common wisdom is that Apple will introduce new iPad models, announce the release date for OS X Yosemite (possible that very day) and likely announce publicly or quietly some hardware updates. Those of us with Mac minis are keeping our fingers crossed as it has been two years since Apple updated the desktop line.

It appears that Apple will not do anything radical with the new iPads. One rumor says the iPads will be even thinner, which would be a shame as Apple seems obsessed with this despite the complete lack of demand from consumers for ever thinner devices. Consumers want longer battery life, more power and, most importantly, more storage. Sacrificing storage or memory for a thinner device is something I have never heard someone say they wanted.

MacRumors and other sites say there is evidence that the updated iPad Airs will come with 2 GB of RAM, definitely an improvement.

Publishers continue to issue updates to their Newsstand apps following the release of iOS 8 last month. For the most part, things seem to be going a bit more smoothly than with the release of iOS 7.

People-iPad-devicesIt is, of course, responsibility of the publisher/developer to make sure their apps are in working order, but some platforms perform these platform updates automatically. As a result, it is generally the native digital editions that lag behind in issuing updates.

Some publishers are clearly better at informing their readers of their level of platform support. Scientific American, for instance, is letting readers know that their app now supports iOS 6 through 8, but that support for both iOS 5 and the original iPad has been dropped. It interesting to note that their iOS 8 update came on October 7, while their iOS 7 update came on December 16 – this is typical of what we have been seeing from publishers as more and more begin to work with the beta versions of new software, and the digital publishing platforms make sure their systems are ready for the new operating systems.

Among the other magazine apps updated was PEOPLE from Time Inc. Like many publishers, Time Inc. is adding iPhone support to their Newsstand apps – and like many publishers, they are choosing to basically make a replica edition of their tablet edition for iPhone owners. The result are page sizes that do not match the size of the iPhone’s display. Some things never change, I guess,.

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