March 29, 2017 Last Updated 12:25 pm

Media app updates: MLB.com At Bat ready for Opening Day

Google updated many of their apps, including Fabric, the real time app analytics app which was recently acquired from Twitter, as well as the app for the Google Play Newsstand

The president might have decided to skip throwing out the first pitch on Monday of the Nats game against the Fish (non-US readers will just have to work to figure who those teams are), but at MLB.com has their app ready to go as of today.

The only real new feature advertised for MLB.com At Bat is that users can now customize their iPhone or iPad homescreens with club app icons – but only if you have updated your device to iOS 10.3 (which came out this week).

The other big sports app updated this week was WatchESPN which issued a bug fix update.

Amazon has issued another update for its Kindle reading app. This one takes the app up to version 5.9.1, and is simply a big fix update. But last week they issued a version 5.9 which was more substantial. “ComiXology’s Guided View is now available on Kindle!” the app description said. “Experience comics in a whole new way with this breakthrough cinematic and immersive reading mode.”

That update also brought in a nice feature, the ability to add documents to your Kindle library. “Tap the share button in Safari and add Kindle as a destination. Web pages are converted to Kindle format so you can adjust the text, font and page color, and read on any Kindle app or device,” the description says.

Google updates its iOS apps on a regular basis, and today I see at least five updates, most of which are for bug fixes. Google Play Newsstand, probably the most important to publishers, also supposedly improves the article display and slideshows.

The Google app I find most important for personal use, however, is Google Translate. The new update brings the app up to version 5.8.0 and adds instant camera translations for English to/from Korean. The app description also says it now has “richer dictionary results with definitions, examples, and synonyms for English, French, Russian, and Spanish.”

One more Google app update to report, though this one will, at first, show up as being from Twitter. Fabric, the app analytics app, was acquired by Google and this update changes the ownership.

The app description warns users that they will have to log back in after updating. “Heads up! You’ll need to log back into your account with this new release. We were recently acquired by Google, and as a security measure, you will be logged out. Sorry – wish we had a say on that :)”


Final point: I rarely see many app updates for digital edition apps these days. Most magazines have abandoned their interactive editions and moved over to PDF replicas, which no one reads, so updates are rarely needed.

It’s a shame, of course, as I still feel that promoting digital editions could be a way for many publishers to expand their digital audiences, and hence their digital ad choices. Oh well, that ship may have sailed, but I still know many TNM readers still feel passionately about digital editions.

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