April 7, 2016 Last Updated 10:05 am

Media app updates: MLB.com At Bat bug fix update; Scribd update adds ‘Scribd Selects’ section

App and content discoverability remains a major issue for publishers, but the only solution so far implemented by platforms appears to be curating content themselves, a solution few publishers find satisfactory

The baseball season has opened with nothing but disappointment. Yes, the Giants lost yesterday, but I didn’t think they would go 162 and 0 – though I fear the Dodgers might.

No, the problem has been trying to actually watch a game using any of the MLB.com At Bat apps: new Apple TV, Roku, iPhone, iPad, you name it, it has been a frustrating experience.

The weirdest bug I’ve encountered so far this season is what I might call the return to beginning bug. While watching the Giants on Tuesday the new Apple TV app would play the game live for about 20 seconds before automatically returning to the beginning of the broadcast. One minute there are runners on the corner and the next Duane Kuiper is reading the line-ups again. By the time I get back to the game Crawford and Panik have teamed up for a double play and the inning is over.

MLB-iPad-update-4-7-16I was looking forward to the new season for two reasons: one, it is an even numbered year so the Giants are ordained by the league and all that is holy to once again win the World Series; and two, MLB.com is rolling out its new features, previewed online last year, in its other apps. The website version of MLB.com At Bat is amazing, absolutely the way to watch a game. Using their apps? Not so much.

Not surprisingly, I see an update for the iOS version of the app has just been released. The app description only mentions “Performance enhancements and bug fixes” but hopefully they are tackling the app’s problems.

I spoke to a representative of the company a few weeks ago when the new Apple TV app was released and I wrote about some problems I was encountering. They were surprised to learn of bugs, but I repeated what I saw and said I would readdress the app should I find that there were no problems or whenever an update came through.

It’s only the first week of the season, and as baseball fans know, it is a long season. Hopefully, MLB will get the bugs worked out and we can enjoy the rest of the season. Now if they can get the Padres to score they will be real miracle workers.

Two weather apps have been updated: The Weather Channel and the NOAA Weather Radar app.

I assume that the Weather Channel app update is designed to fix the problem that has Chicago stuck in winter. It is April 7th, for crying out loud. But it says is bug fixes.

The NOAA app update adds push notifications and weather alerts.

CNN has updated both of its iOS app: CNN App for iPad and CNN App for iPhone for bug fixes.

Two platform updates have come through: Aquafadas has updated its previewer app, Aquafadas Viewer. Besides bug fixes, the update also says it now can “handle AVEMag with pre-indexed search.”

The eBook platform app for Scribd has also been updated adding a new Scribd Selects section.

Discovery is such a universal problem inside app stores and digital newsstands, but the only way platforms have found for attempting to solve the problem is creating areas where they curate the content. This sounds like a good solution, but inevitably publishers find that their content remains hard to find, and now only a tiny number of products are discoverable.

  • Kevin 6 months ago

    The MLB app for Apple TV is not just buggy (still), but it’s missing major features. You can’t scrub forward or back during a game, jump from inning to inning or navigate by score or game event. All these features were in the old Apple TV. MLB acknowledges they’re gone and simply says it’ll be back as soon as technically feasible. No explanation beyond that. Extremely frustrating considering this app was featured in the Apple TV launch last fall and they still don’t have all the basic features included.

    • Derek 6 months ago

      I couldn’t agree more. This app is virtually unusable at the moment. As someone who has been using this app for the past three seasons, the innings navigation, events and scoring plays gone…seems unacceptable. I tried to watch a game tonight and it doesn’t even pull up. It takes me to the “Your game will start soon” screen and never goes any further. I don’t see a lot of others discussing this so I was glad to see this article to reassure it wasn’t just me. I hope a fix happens…yesterday.