Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Metropoli launches a series of replica edition apps for its Italian weekly newspapers

Replica editions will certainly test the loyalty you have for your tablet as they offer nothing that can't be found in print, and are most often much harder to navigate and read. They are, in a nutshell, a mismatched product.

But that is not stopping publishers from continuing to launch replicas. Today the Italian publisher behind the Metropoli weekly newspapers in Italy has released a series of iPad app for their papers.
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The free apps for Metropoli Week - Prato, Metropoli Week - Campi-La Piana, Metropoli Week - Chianti, and Quotidiano Viola iPad Edition (The Daily Purple) all create libraries where the user can then preview (barely) the issues and then buy them for € 2,99.

I wouldn't go so far as the say these replica editions are bait and switch, the app description (in Italian) does mention that you have to buy a subscription, but there is no in-app purchases shown in the App Store, and the publisher doesn't mention the price in their description.

The only interactivity in the app is pinch to zoom, so the iPad edition really adds nothing to the experience. Having said that, I suppose an advantage of having a tablet edition like this is easy access for those who already are print subscribers. Print subscribers can log into the app for free access to content.

The app says it was "powered by Virtual.com Interactive" – whether that means they are actually the developer of the app, or simply assisting I do not know as the publisher, Sette Mare SCARL, is listed as the seller.

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