App Publishers Experiment With Products, Tackle Problems

Updates, launches, and challenges for app publishers looking to get a leg up

App publishers are on the cutting edge of multiplatform media, but with great power comes great responsibility. Software changes, shifts in consumer tastes, and evolving devices and platforms all pose opportunities as well as frustrations for publishers maintaining their places in audience’s hearts.

So, how to stay ahead? Talking New Media takes a look at the approaches of legacies and startups in a handful of recent articles.

Hearst Digital Updates Fleet of Apps

Upward of a 20 products are receiving update 5.0.4 from one of the more prolific digital magazine app publishers. Videos will now play in landscape, video features that were spotty because of bugs have now been restored, and various performance improvements have been put in place, Talking New Media reports. Although Hearst apps catch a lot of flak, D.B. Hebbard points out that aside from common bugs, their apps are strong, particularly Road & Track.

Specialized App Publishers Still Love Apple Newsstand

Two new app publishers – Berlin Policy Journal and BID-INTAL Carta Mensual – are showing that no matter what you or we think of the Apple Newsstand, it can still serve a strong purpose for niche media.

“The Apple Newsstand continues to attract interesting new digital publications even as finding them becomes harder and harder for readers. Because Apple is not maintaining the categories, the only way for a reader to browse the Newsstand in the same way a reader would browse a newsstand at, say, Barnes & Noble, is to wade through the hundreds of new foreign language apps being released in hopes of finding something new they can read,” Hebbard writes.

“One reason so many new publications appear is that more and more the Newsstand is being used by companies and institutions who are less interested in the general public reading their digital publications so much those they send direct links to. One assumes this may be the motivation behind two new international publications released recently.

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“When commercial magazine publisher say they are thinking digital-first, they always mean the web. Corporations and institutions, though, are still seeing the mobile and tablet platforms as good places to launch digital publications. This is very much the reason several of the better digital publishing platforms have begun shifting their sales efforts away from magazine and newspaper publishers and more towards these organizations.”

The Huffington Post Newsstand App Gets a New Look

Launched in 2012, HuffPo‘s weekly digital magazine app is still free and still uses Joomag. Version 3.0 is just easier to read on any device.

The Guardian App Becomes More Tablet-Friendly

Version 2.9 of the Guardian’s paid app features navigation enhancements, the implementation of pinch and zoom, and bug fixes across the board for its tablet-native product, Talking New Media reports.

Do App Bugs Demand In-House Tech Teams?

“Five years ago this site said that to succeed in the new world of digital publishing media companies would have to learn to become developers themselves, to learn and embrace digital publishing technology with the same commitment that they have print technology. A few companies have done just that,” Hebbard writes. But he goes on to discuss others that haven’t.

He argues that some outsource app maintenance and management at their own peril, and that app publishers with their own in-house tech teams are more valuable and more responsive to their readership when it comes to exterminating bugs and keeping pace with updates from the likes of Apple and Google.

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To read more about app publishers in the news, visit Talking New Media.



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