June 14, 2017 Last Updated 12:28 pm

The Economist moves to Pugpig platform with iPad app update; Fox News is no longer ‘fair and balanced’

Other media app updates include ones from Patch and CNN, plus Apple updates its iWork apps — Pages, Numbers and Keynote — for both Mac and iOS devices

The dog days of summer are here, and for the most part it means developers of iOS apps are playing around with the beta versions of iOS 11 and waiting for its eventual release in the fall. So, that means that most media app updates are simple bug fix updates.

But that is not a hard and fast rule.

One of the apps updated in the past day is from The Economist. Today, the financial magazine update its iPad app, first released in November of 2010, making it one of the pioneers of digital edition apps.

Back then the goal was simply to drive more readers to print.

“Our readers have always preferred the Economist in print because it is a lean-back, immersive reading experience,” Oscar Grut, The Economist’s Chief Digital Officer. said in 2010. “The internet has not been a threat so far, because it cannot replicate this reading experience.”

Much has changed, though the goal of the app is pretty much the same, drive paid subscriptions. For The Economist, though, that doesn’t mean just print, or just replica editions. In fact, The Economist continues to audit not only its digital issue circulation, but also digital nonreplica, not concerned with the difference.

This update, as the app description states, is a major one, bringing the app up to version 4.0.10 from 3.2.12.

The app is on Pugpig platform, and contains a number of new features (as listed in the app description):

  • Search. You can now search within a particular issue.
  • Streaming audio. Audio is now streamed when you press play, and you don’t have to wait for it to download fully.
  • Improved downloads. A new download service means downloads are less likely to fail.
  • Look and feel. Fonts and style have been updated.

But because of the platform change, there are some warnings the developers need to give users, including the loss of their bookmarks and the Apple Watch app. Also, readers will need to download older issues once again in order to access them.

This might lead to a few new negative reviews until readers figure things out, but it should be worth it in the end.

(One little problem, worth mentioning: the app still shows up in the App Store under Apple Watch apps.)

There two news apps updated in the past 24 hours of note:

Patch, the local news outfit, is still at it and has updated its app to fix bugs and improve the app’s performance.

CNN has issued its second update of June, this one to introduce what it calls “major improvements” to its the way its News Feed scrolls.

Many journalists use Dropbox, both on their mobile devices and on desktop. This update brings the app up to version 52.2 and now allows users to share Dropbox files while inside other apps. That sounds very useful, but users are giving the update bad grades for a number of reasons that may require a quick update.

Apple yesterday released update for its iWork apps for the Mac, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Following quickly behind those updates were updates for the iOS apps, introducing the same features including new shapes to use in documents, new auto-correction and text replacement options, and more.

Gabriel Sherman, who last year wrote frequently about Roger Ailes, then head of Fox News, today let’s us know that Fox News has decided to drop its marketing slogan “Fair & Balanced.”

Of source, everyone knows that Fox News is neither fair, nor balanced. Few media outlets are. But Fox News was egotistical enough to proclaim it.

From Sherman’s story today in New York magazine:

It is hard to overstate the significance of what shedding “Fair & Balanced” means for Fox News. (It would be like the New York Times giving up “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”) Ailes invented the slogan when he launched the network in 1996, and over the years it became a quasi-religious doctrine among Fox’s anchors and viewers. The effectiveness of Fox News as a vehicle for conservative ideology depended on it. “If you come out and you try to do right-wing news, you’re gonna die. You can’t get away with it,” Ailes once told a reporter.

Sherman concludes “In the annals of modern advertising, ‘Fair & Balanced’ will be considered a classic. The slogan was Ailes’s cynical genius at its most successful.”

Marketing slogans come and go, and Fox News has had a few that it has abandoned such as “We Report, You Decide.” But this one was certainly the one that drove liberals crazy — and probably a few insiders, as well.

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