July 25, 2016 Last Updated 10:47 am

News app updates: Microsoft News Pro, Hyper, Scribd, MLB, and Tribune newspapers

Rolling Stone issues bug fix app update two months after users begin to complain that the app was broken and took away the interactive features they liked

I have often said that Google is probably the best iOS app developer, far more adventurous than Apple, and more willing to follow Apple’s own advice for apps: update often to keep them fresh and always in the minds of users.

So, I was a little skeptical when Microsoft got into the game with its own News Pro app. But the app reviews are pretty positive, though they are not huge in number.

NewsPro-iPhone6-380Late last week Microsoft brought News Pro up to version 2.2 with an update that fixes some bugs, adds new Speedy view, and improves, supposedly, the push notifications.

Having said nice things about the app, I would add that this app does nothing for publishers other than possibly drive a touch more traffic (maybe).

A couple of other platforms were updated, as well.

Hyper, the video app also was updated, but the developers behind this app are rather lazy, or simply don’t want to call a bug fix update a bug fix update. In late June the app was updated to version 2.0 which brought in iPhone support. Since then there have been six updates, all of which simply repeat the same app description that says the app now supports the iPhone, plus adds that the update is about bug fixes.

You might think that an app with so many bug fix updates has been getting hammered by users with negative reviews. Actually, not so much. Users seem to like the app.

Another app that was updated, and still uses the old app description, is for Scribd, the eBook platform. Their bug fix update brings the app up to version 4.5.1.

On the publishing side of things, Tribune Publishing – now actually called tronc – updated its newspaper apps. Those newspapers include The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times (the one’s I maintain).

The app update is fairly major, adding new visual treatments for photo galleries and videos, adding support for playing videos inline on the section front, updated the hit-zones on the navigation bar to be easier to tap, and fixing bugs.

RS-7-16-300The apps still appear under the Tribune Interactive name, which is probably good as using “tronc” would only induce giggles. The company still has not announced a date for its Q2 earnings report, which should be very interesting to see.

Other newspaper app updates include one for The Guardian and Observer daily edition (iPad edition), and for La Presse+.

On the magazine side, Rolling Stone released a bug fix update. The update was apparently really needed as readers were complaining that the app does not work.

Unfortunately, the problem goes back to the previous update which apparently killed the app and took out much of what readers found interesting.

“Jann Wenner is an utter jerk!” said one reader. “The Rolling Stone app used to be 5 Star, but he killed it and took away all of its wonderful interactive features! No more sound bites, no more links! Even the paper version which is cheaper is better than this piece of crap. Looks like they opted to sage money at our expense.”

Updated just today was MLB.com At Bat – for bug fixes. This app, too, has been getting negative reviews, but for the number of ads being delivered to users rather than for bugs.

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