October 12, 2015 Last Updated 1:41 pm

Readers complain of crashes of Washington Post ‘Classic’ app, even after latest iOS 9 update

Media app updates: Tribune Publishing updates; Oyster issues minor update for its iOS eBook reading app, but still doesn’t mention that the service will be ‘sunsetting’ in January

The release of iOS 9 appears to be causing a few problems for some media app developers as they update their apps to try and fix bugs and make their apps compliant.

The Washington Post, for instance, has updated its “Classic” for the second time since the release of iOS 9, bringing the app up to version 3.4.2. The update was released late Thursday, and so far the reader reviews have been all negative as readers complain of app crashes.

WaPo-Classic-updateBut there must be something more going on here as I have encountered no issues at all with the app. Not that I like the app, however. I think the direction the app has gone is definitely wrong.

Originally, the app was similar to the NYT’s iPad app – a sort of recreation of the paper’s website. But now the news side of this app is similar to a TypeEngine or 29th Street Publishing style app – that works for a magazine, but really seems inappropriate for news organization with loads of content. My second criticism of the app is the ugly banner ads that are constantly displayed on the screen. As TNM readers know, I care about advertising and want to see create solutions to ads in digital editions. This approach, banner ads, seems an outdated and esthetically unpleasing approach to me.

But design aside, what else is wrong with the app that is causing readers to complain of crashes? I don’t know, and Apple’s iTunes is not helpful as Apple doesn’t allow for readers to add more information that might be helpful to the developer. There is, of course, a way for a reader to contact the support team. But Apple’s App Store is, shall we say, unsocial. Social networking has never been a strength at Apple as they like to live behind walls, and I suppose think everyone else wants to be that way, too.

Tribune Interactive has released app updates for LA Times, and Chicago Tribune for iOS 9 compatibility. Readers have complained of crashes with both apps since the release of iOS 9, so these updates are probably intended to fix the bug problems.

Neither app has any new reader reviews so I don’t know if the updates have been successful at killing off those bugs.

Spotify has updated its iOS app and added support for playing through your home speakers and through the new Google Chromecast, with support for older models of Chromecast promised, as well.

I don’t know what Spotify means by “home speakers” support as the app looks to me to have already had that support. I stream music from Spotify to my receive via Bluetooth all the time. The app also has AirPlay support, though I find Bluetooth much more stable and reliable.

Oyster has also issued an app update. The app description says “there are no new “big” features to report with this update” but does list improvement to publisher syles, fixes for background colors, and better loading book lists.

What the app description does not mention, however, is that the service is shutting down at the start of next year. The website contains information on the “sunsetting” of the service which probably should be including in the app description.

“Depending on your account’s billing date,” the eBook service’s website states, “your access to Oyster Unlimited will end between December 16, 2015 and January 15, 2016. We have sent you an email with all of the details regarding your account including the closing date. Your service will continue to operate normally (without interruption) until that date.”

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