January 13, 2015 Last Updated 1:24 pm

Progress (UK) releases digital edition of its monthly magazine into the Apple Newsstand

Organization tied to UK’s Labour Party releases replica edition app for its monthly magazine, Progress, that is anything but a progressive digital publishing effort

The political organisation linked to the Labour Party, Progress, also publishes a monthly magazine of the same name. With the UK to hold an election in May, it was probably a good idea to finally launch a digital edition for Progress magazine.

Progress-registerThe new Apple Newsstand app, called Progress – Labour’s Progressive Magazine, is not very progressive, however. The app provides readers a very hard to read replica edition, at a steep price.

The best thing about the app is that it immediately asks the potential reader to register with the organization, providing their name and email address. That is something that was forbidden by Apple back in the early days of the App Store as Apple wanted to make sure they held on to customer information.

But Apple quietly loosened their guidelines and some publishers have slowly begun to add features to their Newsstand apps in an attempt to get the same level of customer information that they have had for their print editions.

Progress-iPadAfter this little dialogue box appears (it can be dismissed without filling in the information) the reader is presented with an expensive PDF. Individual issues are priced at £3.99 ($5.99 US) and the only subscription option is for a year, priced at £24.49 ($35.99 US).

The app works on both the iPhone and iPad, and because it is a replica, it is very difficult to read on anything other than a standard sized iPad.

If Progress’s goal is to reach readers so it can influence public opinion, it is good that this new app has been released, though it is a little late to the game. If the intention, though, was to show that this is a progressive organization, I think quite a number of people will see this as a pretty backward attempt at digital publishing.

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