July 27, 2015 Last Updated 7:46 am

Chinese stock market routed, dragging world markets lower

Morning Brief: Google News for iOS updated to introduce two-column design, a trend we’re likely to see more if Apple does, indeed, unveil a larger display model of the iPad in the fall

Ever wonder what it would have been like to have lived through the stock crash of 1929? Well, Chinese investors have been living it through it almost each day over the past few weeks. Today, once again, shares on the Shanghai exchange are falling precipitously, down over 8 percent.

shanghai-7-27A look at the chart tells the story, the stock index began climbing from 2,135 to 5,178 in a rise that never could be sustainable. But just like the ’20s, investors probably believed the market was on a never-ending boom. But starting in mid-June the market has begun a correction of frightening scope and depth. The low seemed to be July 8th when the market fell to 3,421. Since then there has been a bit of a recovery back to 4,132.

But today shares are down nearly 8.5 percent to 3,725. The drop is dragging down stocks in Europe over 1.5 percent, and Dow futures point to US markets opening weaker, as well.

The danger in China is that investors are more often to be small players, individuals rather than corporations, and so a big fall in the market may cause many to lose their savings – though those that investors early and sold are obviously being rewarded for the run-up that occurred earlier this year.

GN-update-iPadThe two column layout is finally coming to iOS. Android and Windows tablets have been employing the device for a while now, with Apple stubbornly sticking it its single mode model. But that’s changing, and more and more apps are beginning to come out with redesigns. One of those is Google News which has released an update to bring the app up to version 1.9.467.

Assuming Apple really does unveil a larger display model of the iPad in October, we are likely to see developers and designers coming out with more and more two-column looks.

This would be a reversal of sorts, as a number of platforms feature one column designs for their digital edition apps. The advantage of this is that they work great on iPhone, and not so bad on iPad. A move to a two-column look could, of course, be limited to the iPad, leaving the iPhone with a one-column design. We’ll see this fall if a large iPad, combined with iOS 9, might force the hand of digital publishing platforms.

A recurring theme at TNM has been the warning to music and film magazine publishers that there would be interactive magazines launched that would feature audio and video, making their print replica editions look terribly dated and increasingly irrelevant. A few have been launched, but none really have made much headway because VCs are not investing in digital publishing the way they did in the late ’90s.

Pause-iPadInstead, start-ups have concentrated on aggregation apps. A twist on this theme seems to be the music magazine app Pause from Shuffler Media B.V. Pause is an interestingly designed aggregation magazine that takes the content of publishing partners and adds to it music and video content. The app was originally launched in early 2014, but hasn’t gotten much attention here in the States.This weekend it received a bug fix update to bring the app up to version 4.1.1.

The app is an outgrowth of the developer’s own music app, Shuffler.fm, whose twist on the music streaming idea is radio curated by music editors. Both apps present interesting ideas, but once again publishers are asked to become freelancers to the aggregation apps. The model is your content builds our business. Publishers always seem to go along.

There still seems to be a big opening for a digital publishing start-up, well-funded, to come into the space, see the opportunity, and create similar digital magazine apps, but ones that don’t require third party content, and which have good relations with the labels and/or studios.

By the way, one thing I love about the app from Pause is the subtle little change they made to the push notification dialog box that pops up at the launch of the app. Most apps don’t give much thought to this and simply repeat the standard language used by other apps, with the No button placed on the left. I bet most iOS devices owners automatically tap that button on the left to decline receiving notifications. But on the Pause app the button is on the right and the language changed just enough so that I bet they get a higher percentage of opt-ins than other apps.

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