Add another startup to the list of those under Apple’s wings: PRSS. The company launched in 2012 and gained coverage in 2013 as a simple tool for creating magazine apps for the iPad and Android tablets. TNW explains the startup well in a 2013 article:
Prss, launching today at The Next Web Conference USA, is a Web app that allows users to create beautiful magazines via a drag-and-drop interface and then publish them to Newsstand. Up to 30 people can collaborate on any magazine in a similar fashion to a Google Doc, and users can create as many magazines as they like. Prss (pronounced ‘press’) is free to use, with the startup charging a very competitive 5 US cents per magazine download. Once your magazine is tweaked to your satisfaction, it can be uploaded to your native iOS Prss magazine app, which you can brand and customize as you like. Unlike many other magazine creation solutions for the iPad, it’s easy and quick to push updates to your publications (for example, if you spot a typo). This is because rather than generating large image files for each magazine, PRSS builds pages dynamically, in a similar way to how Web pages are constructed of separate element and assembled on the fly.
Essentially, this is a web-based version of iBooks Author that is oriented toward magazines. It’s no secret that Apple’s Newsstand platform, originally launched in 2011 with iOS 5, has not taken off to Apple’s largest ambitions. While the money piece may be one side of the issue, another could be the ease of use for creating iPad-optimized titles.
Apple nor PRSS have confirmed the acquisition, but Netherlands-based Apple blog iCulture says it confirmed the acquisition. The report claims that several employees from PRSS now work at Apple. We’ve also noticed that the startup’s website has been completely shut down. In July, the company announced it is shutting down its service, so it’s likely that the Apple deal occurred in the early summer of this year.