July 8, 2015 Last Updated 12:49 pm

The New Republic updates iPad app, but readers continue to say that the app is broken

Newsstand app fails to allow access to new issues, something readers have complained about in their iTunes reviews going all the way back to 2013

The New Republic today issued an update for its The New Republic for iPad Newsstand app, but testing the app shows that the app is very much broken, something readers have been complaining about since 2013.

TNR-iPad-libraryToday’s update contains what appears to be very useful improvements, but seems to be missing the big fix:

What’s New in Version 2.4.1

  • Remove storefront tab; give readers with an easier way to download and read their magazine issues
  • Remove Tap-To-Preview images for magazine issues
  • Bug fixes for entitlement and account sign-in errors
  • Remove other excess and unused features

That all sounds like good and wise app improvements. But readers have been complaining that they cannot access new issues, and that there has been no response from the magazine.

As one can see from the screenshot above, the only two issues seen inside my version of the app are the two issues I have bought when I have previously looked at the app. No new issues are seen.

The FAQ states that one can restore issues through the app then find new ones in the Store tab. One problem: there is no Store tab. It’s simply not there.

One could easily chalk up the problems seen here with the app on the turmoil that engulfed the magazine last year when the staff walked out. But the problem with this app seems to go all the way back to the fall of 2013, with readers consistently complaining that they cannot download issues.

In most cases, a publisher would be in a panic and would seek to fix the problem. But The New Republic is a very small circulation magazine. Even a decade ago the readership stood at only around 64K, falling to around 30K and now standing at about 40K. Digital circulation could turn this around if the app worked, I suppose, but my guess is that few of those who have downloaded the app would want to use it now.

Another update should take care of this issue, and one wonders why the developers behind the update hasn’t seen the problem (a fulfillment issue perhaps?)

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