Thursday, May 27, 2010

Morning Brief: The Australian iPad ready; Ronaldo gets 'Photoshopped'; Wired already the #1 paid news app

As expected, the international news apps are starting to appear. This morning The Australian iPad app appeared in iTunes.
The app sells for $3.99 -- meaning that the team is shooting for a bit of a revenue bump to cover the development costs rather than a steady stream of new subscribers. This is a method more common to the iPhone and Android markets.

Only one review in iTunes, as you'd expect at this early hour. But the review is spot-on: "To The Australian iPad app team: congratz on the launch...My suggestion: plz describe more about the app and its features."

This was from a couple of days ago but thought it funny, nonetheless.

Last week I looked at Vanity Fair's new iPad app -- a very nice step forward for the Condé Nast unit. But it didn't take long for that app -- or more specifically -- that issue to generate controversy.
The New York Post reported that one of the two soccer players featured on the cover was not happy.

"The world's highest-paid soccer star, Cristiano Ronaldo, is fuming that VFput him on the cover in tight underpants with rival player Didier Drogba," says Page Six.

"Ronaldo is freaking out," the source said. "He says he wants to sue Vanity Fair for using his image to promote the issue everywhere."

It seems that Ronaldo, probably the world's most famous player, who will be playing for his home country Portugal at the World Cup in June, didn't like the fact that he was Photoshopped into the cover shot. (Yes, that washboard chest is his own.) Who would have thought that a soccer player might have higher journalistic standards that Condé Nast? (Or was it that it didn't like to share the cover? You decide.)

Yesterday I took a first look at the Wired iPad app -- you can read the long report here. This morning the app is sitting on the top spot in iTunes -- the number one paid news app.

Yesterday I read this post on Gizmodo, and frankly it pissed me off. I understand that people are generally more cynical than they used to be. But this column just makes me want to write off Gizmodo completely. If you want to engage in some masochistic pleasure I suppose you should read it in full. But to me this just nonsense, stating that the author is still waiting for a great magazine app. Yeah, right, and I'm still waiting for a week to go by where Gizmodo doesn't make a fool of itself.

Apple has quietly redesigned its app store slightly. When searching for an app by category a couple of new sections appear: In the Spotlight and What's Hot. This is the same formula they have used for the front page of the store, but now brought to the categories.

I don't think it makes finding an app simpler, and with thousands of app in the store I don't know how it could be accomplished, but the redesign does give Apple more space to promote its favored clients. The app store, and the whole app operations team needs better brand managers -- people who really represent the clients and users to Apple.