Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bonnier rolls out iOS 6 app updates for Saveur, Skiing, Sport Fishing. as well as other magazine titles

The Swedish magazine publisher Bonnier is a company that one has a tough time getting a handle on. On the one hand the company gave us Mag+, the digital publishing platform that many magazine publishers have turned to when creating their own, native designed tablet editions. On the other hand, most of Bonnier's own tablet editions show a complete lack of enthusiasm for the platform, being simply replicas of the print edition. Today Bonnier released a series of app updates for some of its titles, with most likely more to appear in the App Store over the next few days.

Saveur, Skiing, and Sport Fishing were among those updated (as well as others). Each of the apps are universal (meaning they will work on the iPad, as well as the iPhone and iPod touch).

The update brings these apps up to version 4.0 and the app description says that the update makes the apps iOS 6 compliant and adds support for the iPhone 5's larger display, as well as fixing bugs.

But my own experience with these updates is that there is no iPhone 5 display. I downloaded two of the updates, careful to take a screenshot before the update, then a new one after the update and, as you can see below-left, neither version appears to include support for the iPhone 5.
As hard to read as these replicas are on the iPad, they are just silly on the iPhone. Why these apps were made universal is a bit hard to understand. Then again, my eyes are older than some people's so maybe microscopic fonts are not a problem for others.

The biggest complaint most readers have with these apps, however, involve the pricing policy of charging print readers for access to the digital versions. Saveur's reviews, for instance, show about twice as many one-star reviews than five-star ones.

"I wrote Saveur and requested input as to why I pay for a print and digital version. No response," wrote a reviewer identified as Michael Stefko. "Businessweek does it right! Saveur, wake-up and understand that the party will soon be over!"