Friday, July 22, 2011

The Tribune Company continue release of iPad apps for its newspaper properties – business plan to come

The Tribune Company continues to release natively designed tablet editions for its newspaper properties, each identical, each allowing free, though limited, access to the content.
Over the past week the company has released iPad editions for the Hartford Courtant (Courant Connecticut News Reader for iPad), the Orlando Sentinel (Orlando Sentinel News for iPad), the Daily Press (Daily Press for iPad), and yesterday the Sun Sentinel (South Florida Sun Sentinel News for iPad).

Released by Tribune Interactive, one would be hard pressed to differentiate any differences between the apps or the newspapers, each is free, each offers both portrait and landscape, and each has been received in a rather lukewarm fashion by readers thanks to reports of crashes – something, I might add, I did not experience.

These new tablet editions follow on the heels of the first two iPad apps released for Tribune Newspaper companies: Chicago Tribune App for iPad, and Los Angeles Times App for iPad.

As I written before, these apps are a good starting point, but sorely in need of added features, and most importantly a business plan. Now that it appears that the company is rushing out me-too apps for its properties, one has to wonder if management sees having iPad apps as a bit of a sales point should the chain start selling off its properties. One certainly wonders how much input was given by the newspaper editors and sales executives themselves, and how much this was a top-down decision to release these cloned apps.

In any case, these 'native' app editions are certainly not helping me promote native app development over replica editions, that's for sure.

Identical iPad apps for the Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Sun Sentinel.