One of the new features inside iOS 5 that was announced today by Apple was Newsstand, a bookshelf-like place within the App Store where readers can get find their favorite publications – assuming they are part of the App Store.
Newsstand is a beautiful, easy-to-organize bookshelf displaying the covers of all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions in one place. A new section of the App Store™ features just subscription titles, and allows users to quickly find the most popular newspapers and magazines in the world. If subscribed to, new issues appear in the Newsstand and are updated automatically in the background so you always have the latest issue and the most recent cover art. – Apple Press ReleaseBased on this description, it would appear that those apps that don't take advantage of the in-app subscription process might be excluded. But Apple has not announced much about the new features and it is possible that this might simply be an extension of the App Store itself, simply another way to feature newspapers and magazines.
TNM has been consistent in calling Apple out for not curating its news app portfolio in a more logical way – both to help readers find periodicals and to assist media companies get their apps in front of readers. In the past the App Store has had a promotional area called Newsstand, but no real formal, permanent place for daily newspapers and monthly magazines.
The new beta of iOS 5 is being released today, so it is only a matter of time before developers get a handle on all the new features inside the latest version of Apple's mobile OS, and with the public release not until the fall, there is still time for rules for Newsstand to be worked out.
"iOS 5 has some great new features, such as Notification Center, iMessage and Newsstand and we can’t wait to see what our developers do with its 1,500 new APIs,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in one of the company's rare press releases. “Perhaps iOS 5’s paramount feature is that it’s built to seamlessly work with iCloud in the Post PC revolution that Apple is leading.”
Note: this post on the WSJ website is a rather snarky take on the new Newsstand feature, while this one from Peter Kafka dismisses Apple's new iCloud Match service. Maybe Apple should pull the app for The Daily and tell News Corp. call RIM the next time they want to launch an app.