September 8, 2015 Last Updated 6:57 am

Apple iPhone event tomorrow, release of iOS 9 the following week, general release of Apple News Format still unknown

Morning Brief: Zomato raises $60M in new funding which will be invested in online ordering, table reservations, cashless payments, point-of-sale, and its new platform

The Labor Day holiday is now behind us, the Apple iPhone event ahead of us (tomorrow), and that means the dog days of summer of definitely over.

appleNews-235Those who have signed up to be part of the new Apple News app are hoping the people in Cupertino will finally release access to the Apple News Format – we are, after all, less that two weeks away from when iOS 9 is to likely to be released and as it stands now there will be some select publishers with nice looking news content, and everyone else looking the same. That the team behind Apple News would be rolling out the news app this way is unconscionable. Is the same team that made a mess of the Newsstand now working on Apple News (one would have hoped the App Store team that was supposed to maintain the Newsstand would have been sacked).

The release of iOS 9 will means serious changes for those hundreds of publishers that released Newsstand apps. First, their apps will be moved into a new category called Magazines & Newspapers, and their apps will now use a standard icon. For those publishers who have similar looking Newsstand apps and stand-alone apps, they will have a decision – should one be eliminated? Harrods, the London department, recently decided to update their Newsstand app to tell readers of their digital magazine that they could now find new issues in the store app – likely they will withdraw their Newsstand app from he App Store to avoid confusion (see story on the Harrods update here).

Some publishers, unhappy with the Newsstand, launched new stand-alone apps. Citygram, the digital magazine for Austin, Texas, launched a second, stand-alone app when the publisher found that readers were confused by the Newsstand, “you have to be in the App Store, not the Newsstand, because no one gets the Newsstand,” publisher Chris Perez told TNM.

“That’s what blew me away when we first launched Citygram. I saw everyone open us up, then they said they didn’t know how to get to it,” Perez said of his talks with new readers. “Then they would open it up (the Newsstand folder) and we were the only app in there.”

As of today, there is only one Citygram app, the one launched outside the Newsstand.

Adobe has updated several of their apps, including the Adobe Content Viewer, the app used to preview new digital editions. The update brings the app up to version 32.5.6 and is for bug fixes. Quite a number of users have complained recently of not being able to log into the app.

Adobe also has updated its Phone Gap Developer app, as well as its mobile versions of Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Illustrator Draw.

Also issuing updates was CNN which updated both its iPhone and iPad apps.

But look for a flood of updates following the release of iOS 9. As of today, only the app update I have seen come through that mentions iOS 9 is from Google who said their Chrome mobile browser for iOS now “supports iOS 9.”

zomato-iPhoneZomato, which recently acquired Urbanspoon as a way of breaking into the US market, has announced that it has raised new funding.

“We’re delighted to announce a fresh infusion of USD 60 million into our arsenal, led by new investors Temasek Holdings, and existing investors Vy Capital,” said Umesh Hora, the company’s CFO. “We’ll be investing this round to make investments in our new businesses, such as online ordering, table reservations, cashless payments, point-of-sale, and our newly launched Whitelabel platform.”

“More of our markets have turned profitable recently and we are well capitalized for the next two years, putting us in a great position to extend our business verticals to more global markets. Just last week, we launched our online ordering services in the UAE, and will soon be rolling it out to Australia and South Africa. Over the next few months, we’ll be launching our table reservations service Zomato Book, our point-of-sale system Zomato Base, and rolling out our Whitelabel platform across geographies.”

  • Nick Martin 2 years ago

    We updated our app to be iOS 9 compatible but Apple didn’t approve of us referencing an iOS in development (not yet released), so they rejected our update. I guess Google has a little more swag then we do haha 🙂