March 7, 2016 Last Updated 12:38 pm

Groupe TVA releases new apps for the consumer magazines bought from Transcontinental

The new apps for such magazines as The Hockey News, Canadian Living and Coup de pouce, remain built using the Adobe DPS, and now offer older issues inside the app free to help with the transition from one app to the other

Just over a year ago Transcontinental Inc. decided to sell most of its magazine to Groupe TVA Inc., the Canadian media company owned by Québecor Inc. The sale involved its titles produced in Montreal and Toronto, while retaining Vancouver Magazine and Western Living, distributed in Western Canada.

Canadian Living magazine“In the context of the highly competitive magazine industry that is experiencing a proliferation of platforms and generated content as well as migration of advertising revenues towards digital media, Transcontinental Inc. has decided to sell its consumer magazines produced in Montreal and Toronto to TVA Group whose platforms will enable the continued evolution of these magazines,” François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transcontinental said back in November 2014.

Among the titles sold were Canadian Living; Coup de pouce; Elle Québec; Magazine Véro; Style at Home; Elle Canada; and The Hockey News – a mix of English and French language magazines.

For the past year the digital edition apps have remained in the App Store under the Transcontinental name. One assumed that at some point they would be moved to another developer account. Instead, new apps have been launched under the Groupe TVA account, leaving the old apps still in the store.

Launching new apps has its downsides: first, what happens to those who have downloaded the old apps, will those apps be maintained? what about those who download the new app, but have issues still through the old one? and, finally, will the new owner still produce native digital issues or move to a replica edition (or vice versa)?

It turns out that the new apps from Groupe TVA (or TVA Group, if you prefer) are identical to the old ones, still produced using the Adobe DPS (classic DPS, that is). To solve the problem of restoring older issues the new apps avoids the issue altogether by offering the older issues for free. Inside the old app, the February 15th issue of The Hockey News costs $2.99, but is free in the new app. It’s not the best way to handle the issue of old issues, but it is certainly the easiest way.

These were always good digital editions, and they remain so, designed in portrait, but not a PDF of the print edition. Instead the font choices make sense depending on the device, and the pages are attractively designed.

In a way, these digital editions are a throw back to the time when some publishers were still enthusiastic about publishing for tablets. This attitude seems to be far more prevalent today in Canada than in the U.S.

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