Thursday, March 29, 2012

For many media apps, a new update involves only improving the look of their graphic files

Following the release of the new iPad, many media companies and developers have been issuing updates to their tablet apps. But while some magazine publishers and digital publishing vendors are contemplating major changes to the way they create their tablet editions, many other publishers are issuing very minor updates.

The Washington Post for iPad
The reason for this is that their apps currently allow Apple's own system to render their text, making the most crucial element of their app already compliant with Apple's new, higher resolution iPad.

So many app updates only increase the resolution of the graphics that to be found in the app. A good example of this is The Washington Post for iPad, one of many apps updated this morning. The iPad news app now sports a sharper looking introductory graphic.

But the biggest change is that the app finally supports notifications, something one would have considered absolutely necessary to build in from the beginning. Notifications are routinely used by apps such as that of the New York Times to push out a breaking news item to readers – and example might be a decision from the Supreme Court on the health care reform bill.

The Post's app also added in Facebook share, another "duh" item on any developer's check list.

Other media apps making similar 'retina' display updates to their graphics include Mashable for iPad, and the sports score app SportsTap.