Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Media app updates: WaPo updates its iPad app but keeps it outside of Newsstand; Exact Editions issues updates for its magazine apps such as Jazzwise and Gramophone

The Washington Post continues to go its own way when it comes to its tablet apps, keeping them free of charge and outside of Newsstand.

The Washington Post for iPad was updated to fix a series of bugs with its video playback and to fix the Twitter story sharing feature.

The company's tablet strategy remains rather muddled, however. The app and its content is free, while many of its competitors have moved to paid subscription models. But this free access, the app says, is for a limited time. But unless they move away from a web strategy for their editorial readers won't want to pay for a tablet edition if the website has the same content and is free. Then the publisher would have to construct a paywall for the web, as well. This is why it may be smart to think of your tablet edition as not an extension of the web but as another version of the print edition.

Exact Editions, which has over 40 replica edition apps inside the App Store, has moved many of their titles to Newsstand. Two magazines I have inside my own Newsstand app are Jazzwise and Gramophone Magazine. These two magazine apps, along with many of their others, were updated yesterday to fix some bugs.

The problem with these magazine apps, however, is that the replica editions are more difficult to read than print, yet cost the same. As a result, almost every app one looks at is getting negative reviews from readers who consider them a ripoff.

The Starbucks card may not be a media app, but any publisher will tell you that without caffeine their publications would cease to function.

So it is worth noting that Starbucks has updated its main mobile app. The app now incorporates the mobile card app, so you can now delete that one if you have it.

This update fixes a log in problem.

Now the smartphone app includes your gift card, a My Rewards tab, eGifts, and the map feature.