December 10, 2015 Last Updated 7:13 am

Blendle confirms that its news micropayment platform will be coming to the US early next year

Morning Brief: Media app updates include an update to Aquafadas Viewer, the digital publishing platform’s previewer app for iOS, and a bug fix update for Photoshop Express for those still on iOS 7

The Netherlands based company Blendle said it will launch it micropayment platform for news in the US early next year. The idea behind Blendle is to create an iTunes for news: breaking up newspapers and other medium into individual units that customers will pay for, bringing incremental dollars to publishers.

Axel Springer and The New York Times Co. have invested in Blendle, but right now the first newspaper to say it will be on board when Blendle launches in the US is The Washington Post, the NYT says it is still in talks with the company.

Blendle-lossy-animation“We are glad to be one of the first American media organizations in Blendle’s international rollout,” Steve Hills, President and General Manager of The Post this summer when the paper announces its involvement with Blendle. “As The Post’s global audience continues to grow, this platform offers readers a new way to engage with our journalism.” (Hills later announced that he was leaving the Post at the end of this year to become the director of the Georgetown University Law Center Business Program.)

Blendle co-founder Alexander Klöpping points to ad blockers as a reason for charging readers for individual articles.

“The total number of adblockers now per website, it’s still manageable,” Klöpping told the Financial Times. “But if you look at young people, the number of adblockers they have installed, it’s really daunting.”

Doubters in micropayment for news often point out that while consumers have been used to paying for music before that advent of mp3s, web readers have grown up being able to access the news online for free. If they are not willing to pay for a digital subscription, then why would they pay for an individual article? On the other hand, if they are willing to pay for digital subscriptions, then why would they then also pay for an individual article? This is the dilemma facing the NYT: should they start selling through Blendle when they are also still selling their own subscription packages?

Another digital publishing platform, one offering more traditional services, updated its platform today.

Aquafadas, owned by Rakuten, the same company behind the Kobo eBook service, today updated its previewer app, Aquafadas Viewer. Here is the long list of improvements to the app:

What’s New in Version 4.1.1
– built on iOS9 SDK.
– Chinese server selection for link with cloud connect.
– Better handle of arabic language in search.
– Better handle of mixed language in search.
– Better search feedback in right to left.
– Notes in reader are well right aligned if the language is right to left.
– Better handle of keyboard in PDFReader for the quizz.
– Show Modal Zave action can use the PDFReader specific implementation.
– Optimization on Maze initalization.
– Better behavior on Coloring game when changing from one model to another.
– Better behavior of the score panel for games.
– Better behavior for reader topbar on iPhone.
– Prevent horizontal scroll on magazine V2 if the gesture is mainly vertical.
– Optimization of reflow reader.
– Better behavior of the PDF reader for spread with different page sizes.BugFixes:
– Mono oriented Magazine doesn’t reset layout on a 180° rotation anymore.
– Fix some crash in the search first indexation.
– Fix on bottombar slider in PDFReader. It could have a bad page range.
– Bugfix on scaleToFill page content mode in MagazineV2.
– Bugfix on kenburns animation in slideshows and single images.
– Crash fixed on the draw activity with the fill and the draw assistance.
– Prevent the popup to close on small move of the device.
– Fix the top bar always visible option.
– Sub-layout with right to left scroll fix on nextGen Mag reader.

Other app updates released today include one from Adobe for its mobile app version of Photoshop Express. The update brings the app update to version 4.0.4 and fixes a crash issue some users were experiencing who are still on iOS 7 – that can’t be many users, of course.

Google updated its iOS app for Google Cardboard. The app now features a list of the best third party apps that are using the system.magazines

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