Thursday, March 31, 2011

MLB.com updates apps on Opening Day, adds features; Sunday Times issues updates, promises new features

The Boston Herald was not the only ones who submitted something to Apple for launching today, the first day of the baseball season. MLB.com has updated both its iOS apps today in another example of Apple's review teams can move apps through the system in a hurry if needed.
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The updated apps, which cost $14.99 a piece (iPhone app here, iPad app here), a "live look-in" feature, as well as fixes some performance issues.

I have found that the previous version of the app often lost its ability to find audio and video feeds. A look under the audio icon would reveal that no audio was available -- even when that was obviously not true. I would fix the problem by deleting the app and reinstalling. We'll see if this newly updated version has this bug fixed.

No Android update could be found in the Android Market. Complaints about audio are common in reviews found over there.


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The Sunday Times, the News Corp. UK newspaper, updated its iPad app today in a fairly major update.

The app remains free to download, but there is a solid paywall in place with this one -- issues cost $2.99 to buy if you are not already a paid subscriber to the print edition.

The app has a load of new features including:
  • A ‘Live’ button to the toolbar was added
  • Football, cricket and rugby results tables can now be refreshed without leaving the app
  • Font "clarity" improvements
  • "Quick Lists" have been added to each Contents page
  • New interactive features involving crosswords and photographs
But the more important updates will be coming in the next app update as the company promises "download all" and "background download" capabilities, and more customization tools.

I must say that the Times does an excellent job of communicating with its customers through the app description, a good lesson for publishers who sometimes just go through the motions when they fill in those online forms on the Apple developer website.

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