Thursday, February 3, 2011

paidContent.org and mocoNews release RSS reader iPad apps through Handmark

As I've said here before, the reason TNM does not have an app for the iPad (and any other app, for that matter) is two-fold: TNM's goal of covering the media pretty much is a dead-end, business-wise; and I refuse to release one of these RSS reader apps that I find, well, embarrassingly bad examples of tablet publishing.

Of course, that hasn't stopped companies like Freedom Communications and others from releasing iPad apps that are essentially converted iPhone apps. These apps can be OK (barely) on your smartphone, but on the ten inch display of the iPad they seem like the lazy man's way to iPad app development.
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So what to make of the fact that The Guardian owned properties paidContent.org and mocoNews have released iPad apps through Handmark? Both the paidContent.org for iPad and mocoNews for iPad apps are free to download and contain the same networked ads as the Freedom Communications apps -- that is, the same Zagat To Go house ad.

I suppose is this proof that ContentNext Media, which Guardian News & Media acquired in 2008, is still being allowed to be run independently. And maybe the folks at these good media news websites had gotten frustrated with the slow pace of tablet development at The Guardian -- after all, we are still waiting on The Guardian's first iPad app to be released.

But, really, this? OK, guys, time to reboot.

Update: Rules to live by: Rule 1 -- don't release an app that is not an improvement over your website. Example: on my iPhone the NYT website can be read, but it is difficult -- by contrast, their iPhone app is an easier read. Is the current NYT iPad app a better reading experience than reading the website using the iPad's Safari browser? Tough call. But then again the NYT says it will release a new iPad version soon.

(By the way, Rule 2 states "never release an app unless you know how you will make money at it" -- house ads are a poor business model.)

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