Apple introduces News app in iOS 9, replaces Newsstand

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As reported this morning, Apple officially announced a new News app as part of iOS 9. The app takes the place of Newsstand and allows users to easily view and read the news they care most about. With an interface similar to Flipboard, Apple highlights the rich typography.

Apple also touts how users are prompted to pick specific topics in which they are interested and then the app propagates with content relating to those selected topics. Users can also add specific websites and blogs. Some images are below:

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Apple reportedly set to kill Newsstand, introduce Flipboard-esque news app

Flipboard for the web

Apple set to introduce Flipboard-Like news product

A late-breaking report from Re/code is indicating that Apple is readying an announcement about news initiatives on iOS. According to the report, the company plans to kill off Newsstand although individual apps will still remain in the App Store.

Apple will also apparently introduce a new service which will present news stories from a variety of sources, such as ESPN, New York Times and Conde Naste. The report describes the product as similar to Flipboard.

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Review: Magzter Gold, the iPad app that’s a (kind of) Netflix for magazines

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I love Netflix. I haven’t even owned a TV for many years, relying on either a MacBook Pro – with or without Apple Thunderbolt Display – and iPad for the limited amount of TV and movie viewing I tend to do.

Magzter Gold essentially aims to be a Netflix for magazines, a single monthly subscription giving you all-you-can-eat access to digital magazines on your iPad. The reality is a little messier, and whether it makes sense for you will depend on how many magazines you read and which ones …  Read more

Imaginative use of iBeacon gives bar patrons free access to Newsstand magazines

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A London-based digital publishing company is trialling use of Apple’s iBeacon technology to provide bar patrons with free access to digital versions of two magazines in Newsstand, reports TechCrunch.

The way it works is that the bar buys a subscription, and one or more iBeacons (each little larger than a quarter) unlock the content for customers within range. On iOS devices, the whole process is completely automatic. Once the customer leaves the location, the content is locked again and becomes available for purchase as normal …  Read more

Apple revamps design of iBooks and iTunes U for iOS 7 on iPad & iPhone

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Following redesigns of many of its other applications, Apple has completely redesigned its iBooks application for iOS 7. The new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch app follows the design aesthetic of the bundled Newsstand application, and also includes a completely redesigned iBookstore. The free update is available via the App Store now. For fans of the page curl effect in iBooks, you will be happy to know that it has not been removed.

Apple has also completely redesigned its iTunes U application, an app for downloading and managing education content. Both apps include redesigned icons:

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Quark gets acquired by mergers and acquisitions firm, Apple could benefit

Remember Quark? The developer of popular publishing software QuarkXPress has been sold to merger and acquisition firm Platinum Equity, and, according to a report from Techcrunch, the company is already focusing on finding a new home for the Quark’s IP. In the midst of heated patent battles between smartphone makers, what might the patents and technologies owned by Quark have to offer Apple?

Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are a big focus for Apple, it’s clear with the introduction of Newsstand in iOS 5, an app dedicated to helping manage digital subscriptions. Quark recently launched their QuarkXPress 9 publishing software that will allow publications to “design for and publish to digital devices in a variety of formats”, specifically the iPad, “without requiring the services of a programmer.”

Apple has helped Quark in the past, offering their services to get the publishing platform working on Mac OSX.

The majority of large publications have millions in funding behind them when creating the digital version of their magazines for the iPad. However, if Apple were to integrate Quark software into an SDK specifically for publishers, the subscriptions market on iOS devices might closer resemble the ecosystem currently in place for games. In other words, giving developers without millions in funding the “tools to convert existing layouts to rich, interactive content — or create new iPad content from scratch” may bring with it a rush of quality content with subscription models much more attractive to users than those offered by the larger publications.

Apple is clearly making digital subscriptions a focus in iOS 5 with Newsstand Kit, which provides the ability update issues in the background and auto-update subscriptions, but the SDK certainly falls short of everything Quark software could offer publishers.
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