Monday, September 10, 2012

Media companies issue vital updates to iPad apps to work-out major bugs, add-in important features

The Economist has once again updated its tablet edition app, The Economist for iPad, as the publisher works to fix major issues with the magazine's app that is leading to numerous negative reader reviews inside the App Store.

Readers have been complaining about issues that won't download, subscriber log-ins, and the lack of retina display support.

But by far the biggest complain has surrounded the subscriber log-in process. Users have complained that they must resubmit the information every time they use the app, or must delete and reinstall the app in order to make the subscriber log-in work.

I imagine getting these bugs fixed is proving as frustrating for the publisher as it is for their readers.

Update: The Economist today released their ABC Consolidated Media Report which shows 88,131 paid digital editions for the reporting period January through June 2012. Of those 54,762 are listed as non-replica, I would assume these are the tablet editions inside Newsstand. They also are reporting over 600K "unique devices" – that's not a very important number as far as actual readers are concerned, but they give you a good idea of the total number of downloads.

Comcast Cable has issued an update to its XFINITY Connect app to fix bugs that can cause the app to crash.

The update to the universal app also adds a full screen email mode for the iPad and improved font sizes, as well.

User here, too, have been complaining that following a previous update the app stopped performing properly, crashing frequently. The update is new so let's hope it fixes the problem this time.

A much smaller company has also issued an update. The magazine app Overnight Buses Travel Magazine has been updated in order to add in the ability to have a second issue!

The original app launched in April (see first post here) and was a stand-alone app that just serviced the one magazine found inside.

Now the app has been updated to add in a library page in order to download past and future issues. Because the app does not support the Apple Newsstand, at least with this update, the publisher has to hope readers will see the app icon on their iPad and be reminded to download future issues.

The app is still over 80 MM in size, so I would assume the first issue of the magazine is still included in the app. The second issue, though, is available for download through the library.