Friday, March 2, 2012

Authentication issue dogs new Fast Company Magazine iPad app; company promises an update

One magazine that many readers would have thought would have been among the first to launch a tablet edition, Fast Company, has finally made its appearance inside the App Store. But readers who already subscribe to the print edition would be wise to wait until this app gets updated before downloading.
The new app from the Mansueto Ventures owned magazine, Fast Company Magazine, appeared yesterday but has only received negative reviews because of a bug the is preventing current print subscribers from having their subscriptions authenticated by the company.

The magazine is well aware of the issue and has taken two steps to inform their readers to expect an update. First, they have included this note at the top of the app description:

NOTE TO PRINT SUBSCRIBERS: We are aware of the bug in the authentication process, it will be fixed very soon - thank you for your patience.
Second, the executive editor for Fast Company, Noah Robischon, has gone into iTunes and posted their own five-star review in order to quell the criticism from readers upset at the subscription bug:

Shortly after launching the app today we discovered an authentication bug that is preventing print subscribers from gaining access to their subscription for the iPad edition. We've located and fixed the problem, and an updated version of the app will be available very soon. We apologize for the delay and thank you for your patience. -- Fast Company Executive Editor Noah Robischon

So rather than looking at the finished product, let's give Fast Company some time to work out the kinks of their app.

But in the meantime, we know a bit of what to expect once the app is updated.

Fast Company will be charging $4.99 per issue for individual editions, but will discount the annual subscription to $12.99 (which I assume is 10 issues). This is essentially the same price being offered online for a print subscription ($12.97).

But, as mentioned, current print subscribers will be able to access their issues through the new app for no additional cost.

The app includes a sample preview issue to give readers an idea what to expect. It's pretty small in size, and only can be read in portrait.

I know, from a conversation I had this morning, that Fast Company is working with WoodWing for its digital publishing solutions on this app, so what you get are native tablet layouts utilizing scrolling and swiping within stories (there is only one story in the preview).

I'm sure the development team had wished it has tested out the authentication mechanism a little more thoroughly, but it is possible this is an out-of-app issue that has messed up the debut of their first tablet edition.

Update: Monday, March 5 - as expected, Fast Company has issued an update to its new app that fixes the authentication issue. Reviewers inside iTunes seem to be happy with the app now. Time to download.