July 29, 2015 Last Updated 8:50 am

Comcast updates video sharing app, Xfinity Share, claims all customers can now use app

Morning Brief: Scribd updates its iOS app, improving book information pages; no news from Apple concerning when Apple News partners can start using the News Format, and the clock is ticking on iOS release

The rather lame attempt by Comcast to create a social video app, Xfinity Share, was updated yesterday. The app, in the words of app description is now available to all Comcast customers. Well, not really.


Tap/click to play app intro

The app hasn’t gotten much attention from the tech press because of the limitations Comcast put on the app. First, the app works with Comcast’s X1 Entertainment Operating System, if you don’t have that it doesn’t work. Second, customers are required to have the company’s Triple Play package, requiring that they have Voice, Internet and TV services.

Or do they? The app description doesn’t mention Triple Play – I believe it used to – so maybe this requirement was dropped, and this is what Comcast means when they say “NOW AVAILABLE TO ALL COMCAST CUSTOMERS.” Let’s check the support page by clicking the link in the app description. Oops, there is no support page, despite the link (which just goes to the Xfinity Apps page where there is not Xfinity Share option).

Reviews inside iTunes are split, with about one-third giving the app 5-stars, and two-third giving the app 1-star – obviously those who can use the app find it useful, while everyone else ends up being frustrated with Comcast, once again. Of course, no one dare call customer service, that would take a brave person, and one with lots of time on their hands.

If you are paying for the X1 Entertainment Operating System the app is probably worth checking out. If not… in any case here is the app description for the update:

What’s New in Version 3.0

  • Ability to record live streams
  • Bug fixes

The eBook service Scribd also updated their iOS app yesterday. The app, called Scribd – Read Unlimited Books, Audiobooks, Comics, Documents & More (long names are typical of newsstand and eBook service apps), now has beefed up book pages to give readers more information, and has improve the chapter transitions on audiobooks.

Scribd-icon-smBased on the number of reviews inside iTunes it seems that this is a popular app, though I rarely hear people talk about Scribd. Then again, I’m in a household of dedicated print readers (woe is me).

Here is the app description for the update:

What’s New in Version 3.11
It’s been a busy few months at the Scribd office: We’ve listened to your feedback, and we’ve rebuilt audiobooks from the ground up to make your listening experience as good as possible. There’s a bunch more in this release, so let’s just cut to the chase.The Chase:

  • New! We’ve wrangled our books and audiobooks into series for your browsing and binging pleasure. When you reach the end of volume one, we’ll have volume two queued up and ready.
  • New! Love Scribd? Invite your friends to join and we’ll throw in two free months for them to get started.
  • New! More informative book pages give you the low-down before you start reading.
  • New! Better recommendations for first-time readers.
  • Improved! Seamless chapter transitions for audiobooks.
  • Fixed! A major bug that was causing stored audiobooks to disappear.

news-publisherThere were few other app updates available, a sign perhaps that we are now nearing the end of summer when things slow down considerably as developers prepare for the release of iOS 9. Apple has released a public beta for both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan which should, in theory, catch more potential problems.

Those who have signed up for Apple News, and have not been part of the small group of media companies allowed to play around with the Apple News Format, are still waiting to learn when we can work on our designs. TNM, which was approved to be a News Publisher, can be found inside the new Apple News app (assuming you have downloaded either the public beta or the latest developer beta), but TNM content pages will not look nearly as nice as those from the NYT or Wired. I would be nice if Apple gave its publishing partners a little information, and eventually access to the News Format before iOS 9 is launched.

Who is responsible for the new Apple News. Well, it turns out that our friends at TRVL/Prss are working on the project. So, come on Michel, give us an update!

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