Newsstand Stories January 10, 2016

Apple News iPad 16-9

It’s been an interesting day for user number stories out of Apple over the weekend. Early Sunday morning it was reported that Apple Music has reached 10 million paying subscribers, or half way to what Spotify currently claims, and a story published late Sunday night includes an interesting confession from Apple’s services guy Eddy Cue. The Apple exec told the WSJ that the company hasn’t been accurately counting the number of users actively using its new Apple News app.

“We’re in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality,” he said. “We don’t know what the right number is,” but he added that it was better to undercount than overcount traffic.

Despite the glitch, Mr. Cue said Apple is pleased with the product so far. He said most feedback from publishers has been positive. Usage has “scaled very fast…but it doesn’t mean we don’t all want more,” he said.

The lower-than-reality numbers have been shared with publishers that use the number to make decisions about using supporting the platform and optionally advertising through it.

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Newsstand Stories October 16, 2015

Apple News iPad 16-9

Apple News, a news reading app introduced in iOS 9 that replaces Newsstand, is only available in the United States for now, and even explicitly blocked in some areas, though the UK may be getting access very soon. However, a new jailbreak tweak enables readers to use the app from anywhere in the world now without waiting or changing regions.

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Newsstand Stories September 17, 2015

iOS 9.1 beta suggests Apple News hitting the UK soon, here’s how to get it now

While Americans got the new Apple News app as part of iOS 9, Brits are going to have to wait a little longer – it’s currently in the beta of iOS 9.1. As Engadget notes, that suggests it may be around a month (or more) away.

But if you want to take a look now, you can, just by changing your region from the UK to USA. Go to Settings > General > Language & Region > Region and set it to United States. Confirm, wait a few seconds while your iPhone makes the changes (the screen may switch off for 5-10 seconds at this point) and then the News app should magically appear.

Frankly, though, having taken a look at the app, it doesn’t strike me as a great improvement on Newsstand … I’ll be sticking to the web, thanks.

Newsstand Stories July 29, 2015

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I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been rooting for iOS 9’s upcoming Apple News app to succeed. I’ve been a dedicated Reeder user since it debuted in the App Store, quickly dumped alternatives such as Flipboard and Pulse, and don’t need to change my daily news reading routine. But ever since Apple launched Newsstand in 2011, I’ve been waiting for a truly next-generation iOS news reading experience. Apple hasn’t just missed the boat on this; it actually sank the ship it launched, and lost a lot of talented sailors to rival companies that were developing digital book and magazine apps.

Having paid for Newsstand digital magazine subscriptions, I (like many people) was beyond disappointed when Apple abandoned Newsstand and the publishers who supported it. Newsstand was a great first step, and had the potential to become much better. Today, it seems obvious that Apple was hoping to coax Newsstand publishers over to its new app Apple News, but after testing iOS 9, I don’t think News is ready to replace Newsstand. Moreover, unless something major changes over the next few months, I’d be very surprised to see News succeed where Newsstand failed.

Whether it’s Apple or someone else (say, Amazon’s Kindle division), I’d like to see a bold company take the next big step and unify published content — at least traditional newspapers and magazines, and probably also traditional books and Internet-based publications — into a single Reading app with the best features of News, Newsstand, and iBooks. Below, I’ll explain why this would be a great next move for publishers, consumers, and Apple itself…

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Newsstand Stories June 8, 2015

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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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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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Newsstand Stories April 23, 2015

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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 …  expand full story

Newsstand Stories September 23, 2014

Google’s Currents iOS app redesigned & renamed ‘Google Play Newsstand’

Following the renaming of its Google Currents news reader app to “Google Play Newsstand” on Android back in February, Google has now given a similar treatment to the iOS app. The app, like the Android version earlier this year, also receives a makeover in the process with a streamlined design and new features:

What’s new • New navigation helping you easily access the articles and editions you love including: – Read Now – Easily access articles you subscribe to and discover new articles and editions all in one place – Topics – Subscribe and get news from topics you are most interested in – My Library – All of your subscriptions will be found here • A brand new design giving you a streamlined news reading experience

The Google Play Newsstand app is available for free for iPhone and iPad on the App Store now.

Newsstand Stories August 18, 2014

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In honor of the Bank holiday in the United Kingdom, Apple is offering five Newsstand magazine issues per day at no charge. The deal started today (August 18th) and lasts through August 22nd…

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Newsstand Stories December 4, 2013

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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 …  expand full story

Newsstand Stories November 20, 2013

Google drops Currents for Newsstand, iOS app coming sometime in 2014

A quick news blip for the 12 remaining Google Currents users on iOS as the company just announced Currents will be going by the wayside in favor of Google’s aptly named “Newsstand.” Aside from Google’s ridiculously original name, the company is ready to place all of your magazine, newspaper, blog and news site subscriptions in one place. Any other iOS users having a deja vu moment with the “Newsstand” name right about now?

Newsstand Stories November 14, 2013

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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:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 12.17.56 PM

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Newsstand Stories August 9, 2011

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. expand full story

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