September 15, 2016 Last Updated 12:30 pm

New app updates from publishers and platforms following Apple’s release of iOS 10

Patch, the local news company, has launched a new app in response to the release of iOS 10; other updates mostly concern dealing with new bugs introduced in the new mobile OS

It is not at all unusual for there to be a flood of app updates following the release of a new version of Apple’s mobile operating system. In fact, in the early days of the App Store and following the introduction of the Newsstand, it felt like every digital magazine and newspaper app would need to be updated following the new iOS release.

patch-ipadThis year it feels like a lot of app updates, but in reality many digital magazine apps are not being updated – either because they do not need to be, or because there simply is not the emphasis on a title’s digital edition as their used to in, say, 2012 or 2013.

The biggest update is probably from Patch, the local news outfit that used to be part of AOL. At the beginning of 2014, AOL spun off Patch and sold the majority ownership to Hale Global. The update brings in iOS 10 compatibility, but obviously much more. Here is the app description:

What’s New in Version 5.0

  • Brand New Patch App!
  • 950+ Patch Towns throughout the country to keep you connected to your town 24/7, and more towns join Patch every month.
  • Push notifications as important news breaks — you will be the first to get the scoop.
  • Swipe left or right to view articles faster, and show everyone how you feel about what you’ve just read with our new emoticons.
  • Local weather forecasts and alerts — you’ll never be caught without an umbrella or snow boots again.
  • Share stories to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers, or email/SMS to a friend!
  • Designed for iPhone & iPad.
  • iOS 10 compatibility.

It should be noted that while the app descriptions mentions that the app is designed for the iPhone and iPad, the tablet design does not include landscape orientation. So, it might be more accurate to say the design accommodates the iPad. This was already in the older app, and frankly was far more attractive.

Scribd, the eBook service, has also updated its app but who knows what has been updated because they simply duplicated the last update app description. This appears to be a pattern as they did the same thing every time they have a major update followed by minor ones. The guess would be that these updates are for bug fixes and they simply don’t want to say it.

Twitter, which updates its app every two weeks, has rushed out another update to fix some bugs.

Time Inc. updated their digital edition apps yesterday, and today Time Inc. UK has released an update for NME Magazine North America, saying that it is for iOS 1- compatibility.

I checked to see how North American readers like the app and the magazine. But this app has a lot of one word reviews from obviously bogus reviewers.

Other updates include a bug fix update from La Presse+ and the same for The Economist Espresso.

If you see a pattern here, you should.

It used to be that Apple would add interesting new features that publishers could include in their apps, making updates far more exciting. What could Apple add that might make publishers excited about iOS again?

I can think of a few, but at the top of my list would be Translation and a Qualification mechanism.

What would rekindle your interest in digital publishing with Apple?

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