February 8, 2017 Last Updated 12:47 pm

Media apps: Flipboard issues ‘smart magazines’ update; major update for Kobo Reading App

Other iOS media app updates include minor bug fix updates for The Washington Post (newer version) and The Telegraph, as well as Fandango and ESPN’s main sports app

The news content aggregation app Flipboard has issued a major update, bringing popular app up to version 4.0. In addition to a redesign, the update also introduces ‘smart magazines’ – another way to create a personalized digital magazine using choices readers make via subjects or sources.

Flipboard, which was first launched for the iPad, but then added iPhone support in late 2011, is probably a mobile-first app now – seeing as Apple has really struggled with its tablet sales since 2014.

So, what really is different – after all, one could always build one’s own magazine via topics. Now, there is a long list of subtopics, and one can search for others.

The new version also includes an updated profile which is now the hub for all the user’s likes, topics, followers, and saved stories.

Of course, the end result is still an aggregation of publisher content, and those publishers have to opt in, and not mind having their content disaggregated from their own titles. But Flipboard claims that it has over 100 million monthly users now, so just like other third party aggregation apps, there will always be plenty of publishers willing to offer up their content in hopes that maybe, just maybe, they will make a few bucks from the platform.

Other media app updates:

The Washington Post: The app, built after Jeff Bezos bought the paper and wanted a new app that would be released first for the Fire Tab, has received a minor bug fix update. It should be noted that the Post continues to have a confusing portfolio of apps: this newer one, a print replica edition app, and its original native app now called The Washington Post Classic – like Coke Classic, I suppose. Like the NYT, the Post is not big on trying to create new digital brands, but doesn’t seem to mind confusing its readers, nonetheless.

The Telegraph: the UK newspaper has issued a minor bug fix update.

Kobo Reading App: Although the update doesn’t move to a nice round number, the version 8.2 update looks like a major one to me. So major, as a matter of fact, that it might be easier to just reproduce the app description here:

What’s New in Version 8.2
Here’s what’s new in our latest release:

New and Improved Home Screen
You’ll now find your most recently opened items on your Home screen, so you can easily jump back in to your current story. Scroll down to see other titles we’ve recommended for you, as well as free eBooks and our top 50 bestsellers.

Customizable Tabs
Easily find your way around the app with the tabs at the bottom of your screen. Tap to sort your books by title, author, or series, and customize your tray by choosing icons you use the most. Just tap the More icon, then Edit, then drag your preferred icon to the tray to swap it out.

Easy Access to Collections
Your personal collections now live in their own section—just tap More. If you’ve made a whole bunch, rearrange them to put the ones you use most at the top of your screen. Just press and hold on a collection to move it.

Better Sorting and Filtering
With our improved sorting and filtering, you can organize your books or collections the way you’d like to see them. Tap Sort to list books by author or title, hide your saved previews, show only books you haven’t read yet, and more.

More Library Improvements
We’ve made it easier for you to see your current reading progress, and to mark an item as unread or finished directly from your Library, without needing to download it first.
Quickly go back to the top of your Library by tapping our new Back to Top button.

Resolve Issues with Books
Use our new “Repair your account” option in the Help page if you need to resolve problems with items not appearing or working properly.

Both ESPN and Fandango have also issued app updates today, as well.

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