Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday afternoon app launches and updates: Tribune Interactive launches tablet edition for the L.A Times

It's the Friday before Memorial Day, that means people are wrapping up work and gettin' out of town. I'm heading up to Milwaukee to see the Giants in what was supposed to be a celebration of their World Series win but now feels like a funeral after the horrible injury to their star catcher Buster Posey.
So before heading off for the long weekend let's clear some things off the TNM desk:

Tim Moore has released an update for the latest edition of his tablet magazine. Letter to Jane: Moral Tales is also being discounted - a Memorial Day Weekend Sale – so you if want to download his latest tablet-only magazine it will only cost you 99 cents if you do it now. (Do it now!)

Other updates include Nomad Editions which issued its an update which they say fixes some bugs, has new settings panel, etc.

The Oregonian's app for Homes & Gardens of the Northwest was updated last night, as well. The app description says the app update features general improvements and bug fixes. You can now access the second edition of the newspaper's special section that will appear in print tomorrow.

Finally, the BBC updated its mobile app, that claims to fix some bugs.

Tribune Interactive released its second iPad app in support of the company's Los Angeles property. Los Angeles Times app for iPad is a free download, and once you have signed into your account or created a new one, content is free, as well.

There is no warning inside the app description that the company plans on charging for the app anytime soon (another winning business strategy from the Tribune Company, right?).

The app description also states that "The LA Times App for iPad works best with iOS v. 4.2+. We recommend upgrading to the latest iOS version prior to using this application."

This gives you a clue that there have already been users who have noticed problems with the app. In fact, an update has already been issued on the app that claims to offer "stability and performance improvements."

But because iTunes has been acting up all day I have been having a problem downloading apps or getting updates. In the end I downloaded this new app directly from the iPad rather than from the version of iTunes on my desktop computer, something a almost never do. It turns out that the version of this app I downloaded was the original release – and boy was it buggy. In fact, I created a video of the app that I even loaded onto YouTube for embedding here. Then, seconds before posting this story I was able to download the app through iTunes and discovered that I didn't have the updated version.
All time producing the video was wasted as I quickly deleted it from the TNM YouTube Channel. So much for Plan A. Plan B was to take some screenshots which is what you see here.

I had a slew of complaints about version one of this app starting with the registration process which didn't seem to work for me, strange navigation in landscape, etc. But it appears most of these issues have been worked out, though it must be said that blaming them on the users iOS sees a bit much since I was experiencing problems with the first version of the app even though my iPad is fully up-to-date.

In the end, the app seems to be performing now and I assume we will soon see one for other Trine Company properties like the Chicago Tribune.