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Posts tagged with "magazine"

Yahoo Releases Livestand, IntoNow, Updated Mail for iPad

At Product Runway today, Yahoo released a series of new apps and updates for iOS and Android, particularly targeting the iPad with an updated version of its Mail web app, a universal version of “media check-in” tool IntoNow, and Livestand, a new take on social magazines that we first covered earlier this year. According to Yahoo, these “new mobile, tablet, and PC experiences” will help the company deliver a “personal Web” to its users.

Yahoo already had an HTML5-based web email client specifically optimized for the iPad, and the update released today introduces some interface tweaks to quickly skim through weather information and local headlines from the Mail homepage, check out new items from Flickr contacts, and watch video from the Trending Now section. Yahoo says the new Mail homepage is touch-optimized to scroll through tiles, and users will be able to tap on a new items to open the associated Yahoo website in a new browser tab.

More information is available in Yahoo’s blog post.

IntoNow, acquired earlier this year by Yahoo, is also part of today’s updates. The “Shazam for TV” that enables the app to instantly recognize what’s playing on TV through audio recognition is now available on the iPad with a brand new interface as a universal update. IntoNow impressed us months ago with their audio matching technology that was capable of recognizing TV shows and movies, displaying content recommendations and letting users share and comment on what they were watching at the same time.

Picture this - press the green button while you’re watching TV and stats from that football game, tweets from that show’s actors, or related news headlines emerge on the topic your newscaster is talking about …. all in real time as you’re watching.

The new IntoNow app (version 2.0) is available on the App Store.


Last is Livestand, a new app that Yahoo started teasing months ago and promised would provide a better magazine-like experience for web articles thanks to direct partnerships with content providers and websites, as well the properties Yahoo already owns, such as News, Finance and Entertainment. After having tried the app for the past hour, I have to say Livestand is actually a very nice app – perhaps not as revolutionary as many thought it would be, but certainly a well-done piece of software with a good selection of content, good-looking UI, and nice animations for the iPad. To start using Livestand, Yahoo offers you the choice to manage up to 4 user accounts – great for iPads in the family – that can be associated to a Yahoo account or Facebook profile. I chose my Yahoo account, as I’ve already got one in place and figured I might give it a shot after a long time with Livestand.

Upon launch, Livestand greets you immediately with Featured content on the bottom (there are thumbnail images for publications like Forbes, Consumer Reports and several other Yahoo properties) and “Personal Mix” at the top. Read more

iOS 5: Newsstand Overview

Sitting on every user’s iPad, iPhone or iPod touch when they update to iOS 5 is a new “app” called Newsstand which organises all of your magazine and newspaper subscriptions in one place. Whilst this might sound pretty underwhelming at first, it is actually a fairly significant feature addition that actually contains a lot of ‘behind-the-scenes’ changes to how iOS devices and the App Store deals with magazines and newspapers.

I called it in “app” in quotes because visually it looks no more than an iOS folder with a new skin that turns it into something that looks like iBooks with its cedar bookshelves. In fact all it does is store all your magazines and newspapers so that they can be found in a centralised location, as well as give users a shortcut to the Newsstand section of the App Store.

Jump the break to read our overview of Newsstand and how it’s much more than just a pretty iOS folder.
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Adobe Adds Full Support For Newsstand In Its Digital Publishing Suite

Adobe has today announced that publishers who use the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite will be able to create newspaper and magazine files that appear in Apple’s new Newsstand feature. Announced at WWDC and arriving in iOS 5 this Fall, Newsstand will allow new editions of Newspapers and Magazines to be automatically downloaded (in the background) as soon as they are made available - and storing them all in a pseudo-folder on a user’s home screen.

Today’s announcement by Adobe reveals that their Digital Publishing Suite will be able to create files that are compatible with Newsstand, allowing publishers to create and deliver new editions directly to users with little fuss. Todd Teresi, from Adobe’s Media Solutions department said the “support for Newsstand will provide Adobe’s publishing customers the ability to deliver engaging content directly to the digital doorstep of subscribers on their iPads”.

Applications built with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite and enabled for Newsstand will allow publishers to better merchandise their content with support for Newsstand push notifications and icon covers displayed on the Newsstand shelf, reflecting the latest issue of the magazine or newspaper.

This move by Adobe is quite a significant motion of support for Apple’s Newsstand feature because their Digital Publishing Suite is already used to create more than 600 titles, including high profile publishers such as Conde Naste and Reader’s Digest. With little effort, all these publishers can now add support for Newsstand.

[Via MacRumors]

The New Yorker Has Sold 20,000 Annual iPad Subscriptions

The New Yorker Has Sold 20,000 Annual iPad Subscriptions

The New York Times profiles the status of The New Yorker iPad app, which was released in September 2010 but implemented iTunes subscriptions last May. According to The New Yorker, over 75,000 print subscribers have taken advantage of the offer to download the iPad app for free, whilst “several thousands more people” are downloading $4.99 single issues each week.

Offering the first detailed glimpse into iPad magazine sales since subscriptions became available in the spring, The New Yorker said that it now had 100,000 iPad readers, including about 20,000 people who bought subscriptions at $59.99 a year.

In the old in-app purchase model, The New Yorker used to sell single issues-only at $4.99. Since Condè Nast rolled out subscriptions for many of its magazines in May, the publication adopted a new model with subscription to the weekly magazine priced at $5.99 per month (or $1.50 per issue) and full annual iPad access at $59.99. Unlike several other digital versions of magazines ported to the iPad (many of them sold by Condè Nast itself), The New Yorker took a different approach: rather than re-working its information architecture to present articles alongside lots of images, “interactive ads”, video, and infographics, The New Yorker went for the simpler route of presenting readable text on screen. And as The New York Times reports, this strategy seems to have worked really well for them:

The New Yorker, a magazine that has always been heavy on text, took a different tack from its peers. Instead of loading its iPad app with interactive features, the magazine focused on presenting its articles in a clean, readable format.

“That was really important to us: to create an app all about reading,” said Pamela Maffei McCarthy, the magazine’s deputy editor. “There are some bells and whistles, but we’re very careful about that. We think about whether or not they add any value. And if they don’t, out the window they go.

Read the full report – including some remarks from the magazine’s editor David Remnick – here. [via Poynter]


Apple Backs Down Over Subscription Rules

A few days ago Apple quietly modified its ‘App Store Review Guidelines’, and it has significantly reduced the requirements that apps, which deliver content, must abide by, effectively stepping down on their previous demands. In February this year it was revealed that Apple had imposed a deadline of June 30 for all publishers of iOS Apps that delivered subscription content to implement In-App Subscriptions. The requirements were that any app that sold content outside the App Store must also offer the same content to users through In-App Purchases and at the “same price or less than it is offered outside the App”.

Yet as MacRumors has published today, Apple has amended the App Store Review Guidelines to state as follows:

11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app

In plain English this means that content providers with an App Store presence are no longer forced to offer In-App purchases or subscriptions for content. But if they do choose to implement IAP or subscriptions they can offer the content at any price they wish – even if it is more than what they charge outside the App Store. The only requirement is that within an app, there cannot be an external link that redirects users to purchase content from outside the app.

It is unknown why Apple has decided to change tack on this issue, but a likely reason is that a number of publishers decided the 30% cut was too much to bear and had put pressure on Apple to redraw the guideline. Just a few days ago The Financial Times released its iPad webapp in order to sidestep the App Store and its overbearing terms. Similarly, earlier this year Time magazine had also ruled out using the subscription service because of the 30% revenue cut and customers ability to opt-out of giving them certain personal details .

Readability, which launched in February, was also set to offer iOS users an app that would tie into the Readability service, but because of the subscription rules they weren’t able to release the app. Similarly iFlowReader complained in mid-May that Apple’s subscription policy had shut them down because the 30% revenue cut would eat into their already small profit margin. The question now is whether these services and magazines will now re-embrace the App Store under these revised terms.

[Via MacRumors]

AOL Launching Flipboard-like “Editions” for iPad This Summer

Following a trend that sees publishers and companies struggling to deliver personalized content to iPad owners who want to filter news and articles out of their Twitter and Facebook social feeds, AOL is planning on releasing a Flipboard-like magazine for iPad this summer called Editions, BusinessInsider reports. Editions, currently teased on the web with an official landing page, appears to be a much more complex solution than Flipboard though: whilst the iPad app of the year 2010 pulls any link shared on your Twitter or Facebook account, not applying any sort of filtering or smart recognition algorithm, Editions will try to be intelligent enough to only display content that’s relevant to you, related to your location, in a way that reminds of a daily newspaper delivered to you once a day. Call it a mix between Flipboard and News Corp.’s The Daily, AOL’s Editions will even go as far as creating a cover for the top story in your social feed, as well as aggregating all content from AOL-owned publications like TechCrunch and Engadget.

To pick these stories, Editions will look at what your social networks are recommending and the general topics they seem to be interested in, as well as your location (to deliver local news). Then, it will look at which stories you click on and how long you spend reading them, and adjust over time.

Editions is also not meant to replace Web surfing – instead, it will be delivered once a day, just like a newspaper. Temkin noted that AOL’s usage statistics show that people don’t use an iPad like a mobile phone, checking it constantly throughout the day. Instead, usage peaks at morning and night, when people are home and have some time to sit back and read.

Editions will launch this summer (before September 20th, they say) only on the iPad, as AOL doesn’t believe Android tablets will gain much “traction.” The idea sounds interesting – as every concept revolving around automatic news personalization does – but it’ll have to face fierce competition from the likes of (which relies on a similar concept and is developed by the folks behind URL shortening service, Yahoo’s upcoming Livestand and the next version of Flipboard, which is rumored to be heavily based on a new algorithm for better news filtering as the result of the acquisition of Ellerdale Project last year. Flipboard recently announced they tripled the app’s usage and doubled the userbase in just over two months.

Financial Times Still Negotiating with Apple Ahead of June 30 Deadline

PaidContent reports the Financial Times is still negotiating with Apple over the implementation of iTunes subscriptions in its iPad app, which was generating 20% of the publication’s subscribers and over 1 million in revenue a few months ago.

With a month to go until publishers must either fall in with Apple’s new in-app purchasing terms or quit iOS in June, The Financial Times is not yet amongst the small early group to have consented to the new rules.

“We’re still in discussions with them,” FT producer management head Mary Beth Christie told paidContent:UK at World E-reading Congress in London on Tuesday morning. “We’ll see where they go. But we are fixed on the idea of holding on to our consumer data.

Like Time Inc., it appears that the Financial Times can’t agree on Apple’s subscription terms unveiled last February, which require publishers to give a 30% cut off every transaction to Apple and allow users to choose whether or not they want to share their personal information with a publisher. In the past months, in fact, the Financial Times stated multiple times that the iPad app could go somewhere else, perhaps on other platforms and tablets, as they couldn’t give up on subscribers’ data to stay in the App Store. Indeed, after a five-month trial period, Apple will begin pulling publishing apps that haven’t implemented subscriptions on June 30.

Apple managed to ink deals with several magazines, newspapers and publishers over the past two weeks, such as Hearst and Conde Nast, which began selling a subscription-based version of The New Yorker yesterday.

The Daily: 800k Downloads Since February, $10 Million Loss

It’s not looking good for The Daily, the joint collaboration of Apple and News Corp. that launched in February as an iPad-exclusive magazine featuring the new iTunes subscription system. During today’s News Corp.’s March quarter earnings call, the company revealed the app is still a “work in progress” that generated a $10 million loss over the last quarter, as reported by Peter Kafka at MediaMemo.

For instance: Asked to comment on The Daily’s performance, Carey says it’s a work in progress, which lost $10 million last quarter. Then, in the background, someone — most likely CFO Dave DeVoe, mentions “800,000 downloads”.

Assuming that’s the actual number, that’s the first time anyone from News Corp. has talked about the iPad app’s performance. I’ve asked News Corp. to confirm.

MediaMemo also reports the 800k figure is for downloads through iTunes, not paid subscriptions. Downloads below one million seem to be a little low for The Daily, which was heavily promoted by Apple on its website and the App Store with multiple weekly homepage features. News Corp. itself stated several times in the past that the app was set to expand to more devices (like Android tablets) in the future, but it appears that Apple is still holding an exclusive on it as of today. Apple for instance helped The Daily’s team implementing subscriptions before the app’s launch giving them access to unreleased APIs not available to other developers, and News Corp. even tried to push the app to millions of eyeballs with a remarkable Super Bowl commercial. However, a few weeks ago rumors started to surface about The Daily’s slow decline in popularity and social media engagement, in spite of the publication even offering a website to read news coming from the iPad version.

Zite Receives Update, CEO Discusses What’s Next

Zite, one of those ‘personal iPad magazines’ like Flipboard or the newer, received an update yesterday that adds an in-app browser, better clipboard support and some much appreciated performance improvements.

TUAW spoke to the new Zite CEO, Mark Johnson, who used to work at Microsoft. He said that they were pleased with the success of the app, with positive reviews and over 100,000 downloads since launching. Customization, he says, is an oft-cited request by users and he said they are working towards adding more options and flexibility to the news sections. Interestingly, the Zite team is also working on a web version, improving the offline reading abilities and reducing the incidence of duplicate articles in the news stream.

In its initial launch, Zite received some cease and desists from various publishers around the web because of Zite’s ad removal. They have since accommodated the publishers concerns by adding a direct link and Johnson has said that this has quelled publisher’s concerns. You can download Zite from the iPad App Store for free.

[Via TUAW]