Monday, October 29, 2012

Morning Brief: East Coast braces for late season cyclone; flood of media app updates released including real estate pure play Zillow's universal iOS app

A common complain to those of us who are interested in sports and either reside on the West Coast, or still have loyalties there, is that the East Coast media generally ignores or downplays the teams there. A World Series not featuring the Yankees or Red Sox then is pretty much considered a dud.

But the East Coast media can be forgiven on concentrating on other things than sports this morning as it mid-Atlantic to New England brace for the landing of Hurricane Sandy, a huge late season storm.

"If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned residents. "This is a serious and dangerous storm."

More than 6,400 flights have been cancelled, all but completely shutting down East Coast air travel.

Apple cleared out a lot of app updates over the weekend, flooding the App Store with new updates.
One of the more interesting, at least from the perspective of this former classified ad manager, is Zillow's update. Real Estate by Zillow is a universal app (on iOS, that is) that has now added foreclosure property information.

It is an interesting move when you think about it, and probably is one of those moves made because so many small competitors have sprung up to serve the needs of those trying to gather this kind of information.

Zillow knows this is an important new update as it explains in their app description:
Get FREE access to foreclosure listings in your area, including pre-foreclosures, foreclosure auctions and bank-owned properties. These listings are not freely available on any other real estate site. Sign in to start searching for foreclosures!
A bunch of B2B tablet editions got updates. Canadian Grocer and Marketing Magazine, both Rogers Publishing trade journals, got an expected update to make the app iOS 6 compliant. Professional Builder, on the trade titles formerly owned by Reed Business Information, but divested during the great sell off (and close off), also received an update that added some new features.

Sadly, both apps are unimaginative replica editions, with the app from Professional Builder even mentioning that it is built off a PDF.

Another replica, Decanter from IPC Media, was also updated to make the digital replica work with the newest iPad's retina display. One can now also attempt to read the magazine in landscape, though having 20-20 vision is no guarantee of success.

The New York Times has issued an update for one of its few specialty apps, NYTimes Election 2012. The apps is now iOS 6 compliant and will now work properly for the iPhone 5. The app also adds in push notifications, though why they wouldn't have been there from the beginning is a bit odd.

Finally, Air Canada is one of the latest to add in Passbook integration to its iPhone app.