October 20, 2016 Last Updated 2:08 pm

Jazz mags update their replica edition apps, CNN updates iOS apps for bug fixes

Other app updates include a bug fix update for the new app from the UK newspaper The Telegraph, and a couple updates from Google, including one for its mobile Chrome browser

The iOS related app updates continue, though I have a feeling we are getting near the end of the rush, and what should follow will be the usual trickle of updates.

Both DownBeat Magazine and JazzTimes have released updates.

Both apps are replica editions, with JazzTimes appearing under the developer account name of the platform, MAZ Digital, while DownBeat appears under the publisher’s name (Maher Publications).

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Jazz fans, assuming they read jazz magazines, have their preferences between these two titles. DownBeat has the longer history, going back to 1934. It is Chicago-based (actually Elmhurst) and is used to be at the center of a thriving Chicago jazz scene. But as a jazz fan, I find Chicago a depressing place, with few good clubs thriving today.

The magazine was rather late to the Apple Newsstand, launching its first app in late 2012, and using a now defunct platform called Better Press. Since then apps have been launched through Magzter and PixelMags, but they all have one thing in common, they are PDF replicas.

Buying the latest issue was painful, as the app made me go in circles, buying the issue, then failing, then making me buy it again, only to tell me that I had already bought it and would I like to download it again.

The app is, and I am not overstating it, the worst app I’ve ever seen. The pages float around the screen until you turn your tablet into portrait, then they finally snap into place. UGH, I hate PDF replicas!

But thanks to replica displays, PDF replicas are somewhat easier to read than they once were – assuming you have an iPad or iPad Pro, anything smaller and you need to use pinch-to-zoom.

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JazzTimes, because it is using the MAX Digital platform, has a feature where the reader can preview an entire issue, assuming they can do so in 2 minutes. Once you tap the cover of the issue you want to preview a clock starts ticking. This allows you to at least see a few articles, or review the table of contents.

Being a publisher, I, of course, quickly started counting ad pages and total published pages, and began calculating revenue and costs. Publishers are publishers, after all.

If you are one of those few who really don’t mind reading a PDF replica, I suppose it is nice to have these apps. My local Borders went under years ago, and I am miles from a B&N, so getting either magazine in print form would involve either a long drive or (as I am sure the circulation managers would prefer) buying a subscription.

But, for me, the mere presence of these two titles in replica form is depressing. I would have assumed that at least one of these titles would have embraced the potential of digital and transformed their digital editions into something more modern. After all, the thing missing from these digital editions is the one essential element: actual music. Oh well.


telegraoh-iphone-380Among the other apps updated today are CNN’s iPhone and iPad apps, both updated for bug fixes.

The UK newspaper, The Telegraph, which just recently launched a new app, has issued an update to improve the app’s performance (another way of saying ‘bug fixes’). You can read TNM’s first post on the new app here.

The local news company Patch, once part of AOL, has updated its app to fix a crash on the slash screen, and one that apparently takes place when receiving a push notification (haven’t heard of that one before), as well as other bug fixes.

The social eBook platform Glose has an interesting update, adding ‘haptic feedback’ for those owners of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus.

Finally, Google has updated at least two apps. The Google Chrome browser app for the iPhone and iPad has been updated. The feature added involves a dinosaur. Yep, a dinosaur. When the user does not have an Internet connection they tap it and they can play a game while offline. The feature has been around for a while I surmise, but is now part of the iOS app.

Google also issued a minor update for Google Drive, its free online storage app.

Update: This afternoon, Texture, the digital newsstand, had its app update make it through Apple’s system. The update brings the app up to version 5.7.0 and now allows you to share Texture with friends from the Settings screen.

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