March 9, 2016 Last Updated 11:39 am

Next Issue Media updates their Texture app, adding landscape reading to all magazines

Other updates: Flipboard and La Presse+ get minor bug fix updates, while Microsoft has updated its Skype apps, which now allow video calls for up to 25 people

The digital newsstand Texture from Next Issue Media has updated its app, adding landscape reading to all magazines. The update also adds a feature where if you are reading an article through one of the daily feeds, when you are finished you can proceed to the next issue. Previously, the reader could download the whole issue, but could not continue reading within the magazine without doing so.

Time Magazine iPad

TIME Magazine: Click or tap play to see GIF of animated magazine cover

The addition of landscape is very nice, especially for those of us who often have our tablets in that orientation, or have a kickstand cover for our tablet.

But the feature is really only useful depending on the magazine found inside Texture. For instance, Time Inc. generally produces hybrid digital editions – the editorial content reformatted for digital, but the advertising as seen in print. For TIME magazine this means that the cover is mis-sized in landscape, but editorial pages are generally fine and very readable, though the layouts are clearly designed for portrait.

Texture app landscapeBut for a magazine such as Rolling Stone which only offers its readers a PDF replica of the print magazine, the addition of landscape only makes a very hard to read digital magazine that much more ridiculously impossible to read in landscape. Let’s face it, Jann Wenner will never become a believer in digital editions.

Next Issue Media, a consortium of major magazine publishers, rebranded their digital newsstand app as Texture in late September of last year (see original TNM post here). With the rebranding came a major redesign and repurposing of the app. Instead of the app simply being a digital newsstand, with readers required to buy either a basic almost all-you-can-read subscription for $9.99, or an unlimited ll-you-can-read subscription for $14.99 (which then includes the weekly magazines), the app changed considerably.

With that update, Texture began to offer individual articles from the magazines in the service. The idea was to get readers to access the app on a daily basis, not just when they wanted to read an entire magazine. The articles were disaggregated from the magazines.

“I think the disaggregation of content is all about getting consumers better quality content more frequently through their day,” Jim Bobowski, VP, Head of Marketing at Next Issue Media, told TNM last fall.

“We still provide that full issue, front, middle, back experience for people when they want it, for people who just want to consume in that way, but we are also getting into disaggregated content.”

Because this changed the nature of the digital newsstand, the question arose about how the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) would handle readership coming from the app. The way it has been handled in the past was that readers were considered single copy digital. But just over a month ago the AAM announced that they had created a new category called “Multi-Title Digital Programs” to cover readership from digital newsstands such as Texture that offer all-you-can-read digital magazine services.

Note: Texture yesterday announced that it partnering with The Atavist Magazine, a digital-only publication dedicated to long-form storytelling, in sponsoring a new weekly series called “The Mastermind.”

There have been some additional media related app updates today:

  • Flipboard has updated its app to fix some minor bugs.
  • The French-Canadian daily La Presse has updated its tablet app, La Presse+, for the same reason, bug fixes (or améliorations mineures)
  • Microsoft’s news app, News Pro, has been updated to not only fix some bugs, but to improve layouts in the Highlight tab
  • Microsoft also updated its Skype for iPad and Skype for iPhone apps to introduce group video calling for up to 25 people
  • Darcy 7 months ago

    Seriously! Digital publishing has matured and many are now offering article level reading for phone screens and this update from Texture is a joke!