March 18, 2016 Last Updated 3:09 pm

App updates: Transcontinental updates magazine apps for sold titles, making them archive apps

Google Play Books and PressReader apps get bug fix updates, while Zomato tries again to convince Urbanspoon fans that they can make their app as good as their old favorite

The week is ending with a small group of media apps being updated, including a few that we were expecting to not be updated at all but pulled from the App Store altogether.

The apps for the magazines formerly owned by Transcontinental Inc. – these would be titles such as Canadian LivingCoup de pouceElle QuébecMagazine VéroStyle at HomeElle Canada; and The Hockey News – had new digital edition apps released recently by their current owner Groupe TVA. It was odd that new app were released, but that decision may have been made as a way of putting a line in the sand between one ownership and the other – you get issue revenue for these issues, we get it for all the new issues starting on this date.

Archive-icons-302In any case, apps such as for The Hockey News and Style At Home which still appear under the Transcontinental Inc. have received an update that includes a name change. The old apps now all start “ARCHIVE:” followed by the name of the magazine. The app description also states: This app is now an archive. Update this app and launch it for instructions on how to get our new app.

The app icons have also been changed so that readers won’t accidentally download the wrong app. Gone are the full color icons and a black and white icon with the word “ARCHIVE” easily seen now accompanies the app listings.

This is actually a very good way to do the transition, if you think about it.

One of the other magazines to update their digital edition app was the UK magazine Retail Week. The updates says “improvement to user interface and minor bug fixes.”

Two platform updates:

Google Play Books was updated to improve some performance issues; and PressReader, which received an update on the 7th, receives another to improve the resolution when a title is first opened.

The eBay subsidiary Marktplaats B.V. has updated the classified advertising mobile app Close5.

When I first wrote about the app 50 days ago (see here) I lamented that newspapers had missed a great opportunity to win back some of the business they lost by creating new mobile apps. Craig’s List is hardly a factor in mobile, after all. But neither are newspapers, so what we see are company’s like this one once again taking advantage of newspaper executives who have convinced themselves that the future of newspapers is paid content, and no advertising. They are doing a great job on the “no advertising” front, but the jury is still out on the “paid content” strategy (I wouldn’t put any money on the side of newspapers, but you can do what you want).

Finally, the app for Zomato has been updated again. This is a sad tale.

Zomato, founded in New Delhi, acquired Urbanspoon at the start of last year. There was good reasons to buy Urbanspoon: it was an easy way in the US market, and people like Urbanspoon.

But it has been a tough transition. People are not fond of the Zomato app, giving it poor marks inside the App Store. But they keep trying to improve their app, and their app description writing also tries to be upbeat.

Here is the latest update app description, it’s quite a read:

What’s New in Version 9.4
The past few days have proven that a computer can be smart enough to beat us humans at a game we invented ourselves. Ouch. Now it’s probably just a matter of time before they become self-aware and take over the world (and writing release notes for our app).


But hey, until that day arrives, here’s what this shiny new update’s packing –

• New Collections tab layout. Collections are now arranged into two columns, which means you get twice as many yums.
• ‘Search here’ button on map. You can now use the old-school way of tapping a button to show restaurants in the area you’ve panned to on the map. OR you can do the ultra-super-mega-cool thing and just draw on the map to search in an area like you always could.
• ‘Foodies also viewed’ section on restaurant pages. If you’d like to see more restaurants like the one you’re looking at, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see similar places foodies have viewed.
• Improvements to the photo upload flow. We read somewhere that taking photos of your food before you eat it makes it taste better. We’ve made uploading photos even smoother, so that’s more enjoyment for you. You’re welcome.
• Easy-access action buttons on stories. Tap the button with the three dots on Feed stories to share them, and to edit or share reviews and photos on your own Dineline.

P.S. Zomato is hiring! We’re growing our engineering team, and need great folks across our Mobile, Web, DevOps, and QA teams. If you know any super cool engineers who love their code like they love their food (or are one yourself) we’re at

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