Apple sends developers the details regarding changes to the Newsstand coming with iOS 9
The Newsstand will now become merely a folder containing standard app icons, with the publication apps moved into a new App Store category called Magazines & Newspapers
The word went out from Apple to developer late this afternoon concerning the details regarding the Apple Newsstand – and the changes are pretty much what TNM has been reporting this past two months: the Newsstand app becomes a new folder (also called Newsstand), publishers will still be able to charge for subscriptions (they’ll remain simply in-app purchases). and the issue icons will go away (to be replaced with standard app icons).
Apple, with the release of iOS 9, will now move all the Newsstand apps into a new category called Magazines & Newspapers, but that is simply changing the name of the category from Newsstand to the new name.
Probably the big thing publishers need to know is that they will no longer be able to access the Newsstand Atom feeds to update your publication’s cover art, but instead regularly update your app descriptions – very logical, but something not everyone may have been thinking about.
iOS 9 is likely to be released shortly after the iPhone event, probably on September 9th. With the changes to the Newsstand will also be the introduction of the new Apple News app. Apple has been accepting and approving applications to be included with that Flipboard-like app, but has only given access to its Apple News Format to a small number of publishers. Hopefully, we will hear more on this front very soon as time is running out.
Here is the email sent to developers in full for your review:
We’re making some important changes to Newsstand in iOS 9 that will impact your Newsstand apps. You may need to take some of the steps outlined below to ensure your app appears correctly on the App Store and across devices.
With iOS 9, which will be available for customers later this fall, the Newsstand app will no longer be available. Instead, all existing Newsstand apps will be in a newly created folder, Newsstand, which will appear on the Home screen. You’ll still be able to offer In-App Purchase subscriptions for your magazine and newspaper apps on the App Store. Background downloads will also continue to work and existing subscriptions won’t be affected.
With the release of iOS 9, apps in the Newsstand category will automatically move to a new category called Magazines & Newspapers. Your primary category won’t change. If you prefer a different category for your app, you’ll be able to change categories when you submit a new app version after iOS 9 becomes available.
Magazine and newspaper apps will no longer display custom Newsstand cover art or per-issue art. Instead, they’ll just display their standard app icon. Make sure your app icon scales well to all sizes and is easy to read. For more details, see the iOS Human Interface Guidelines.
Atom Feeds and Metadata
After the iOS 9 release, you’ll no longer have access to the Newsstand Atom feeds to update your metadata cover art. We recommend that you add generic cover art to your Atom feed and update your app’s description regularly. You’ll still be able to update your app screenshots and metadata without submitting a new app version. Learn more on our App Store product page.
If you have any questions, contact us.
The App Store team