Questions remain about the Newsstand in iOS 9, like what happens to the Newsstand store
Also, what happens on devices not updated to iOS 9, will apps still install into the old Newsstand folder when updated, what about the categories inside the App Store?
The release of iOS 9 will, as we have been saying since June, mean major changes for the Newsstand. One of them is that the Newsstand folder becomes just like a standard folder, without its link to the Newsstand store (part of the iTunes App Store), and with standard icons.
There are some consequences to this. For instance, as you can see in the screenshot at right, here we have a group of publications inside the new Newsstand folder, with their standard icons. But you will notice that Harrods and National Theatre are in the folder. These are actually stand-alone apps, not Newsstand apps.
But since the Newsstand folder, in iOS 9, is just a folder, you can even change its name (something you could not do before).
Right now, however, the App Store has not been updated. So if you have downloaded the gold master of iOS 9, or one of the betas, you can still go into the Newsstand store as if nothing has changed. My guess is that sometime on Wednesday Apple’s App Store team will change the name of the category to Magazines & Newspapers.
But then again, maybe it won’t – after all, there will still be those that will not download iOS 9 and will still have Newsstand folders, so what will happen to those users? I wish I knew and right now the Apple developer support staff doesn’t know either (not surprising as this is really an App Store issue).
Often, when a new version of iOS is released a new update is released for iTunes. Maybe this will clear things up.
Among the new updates to Newsstand apps was one for CALIA Decor and Styling Magazine which does something you don’t see very often: it completely changes its name. The new digital magazine name is Country House Magazine, which I like a whole lot better.
Since I don’t keep the thousands of Newsstand apps installed on my devices (I would have run out of storage long ago) I needed to reinstall the app onto my device in order to look at the changes. But as I installed in first on my iPhone, with iOS 9 installed, the app ended up installed on my page two of apps, but not inside the Newsstand folder. This confirms that digital publications apps will not by default install the new Newsstand folder – this makes sense, of course, as it is just another folder under iOS 9.
But on my iPad mini, which still has iOS 8 installed, it went right into the old Newsstand folder.
The new Country House magazine app still says “Calia Magazine” at the top of the store page, perhaps to be expected since only the newest issue is called Country House. The digital magazine still attempts to keep its publishing team anonymous, and the support website lists no names either. If the publishers changed the name of the magazine to try and improve its fortunes, it might have considered making other changes in addition to the name change.
Every magazine, whether digital or print, should identify its publisher, provide contact information inside the issues, name (if not picture) its editor or publisher… things like that. An unfamiliar magazine needs to build trust with its readers, to begin a dialogue, to attract advertising (if it is accepting ads), and so following simply, time-tested standards still makes sense, even when digital-only.