Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Morning Brief: Media app updates for the new indy art tablet magazine SFCALR, The Economist and others; Macy's app development team squashes a big bug!

Quite a number of media apps have been updated in the past 24 hours, many saying the update revolves around iOS 6.1, the recent update issued by Apple. I find this interesting because when iOS 6 came out a lot of developers found that their apps were now buggy and were forced to issue updates – now this rash of updates. That, in my opinion, put the source of the problems more at Apple than with the developer community. Just sayin'.

One media app updated today is for SFCALR, the new digital art magazine which last week I called a buggy mess – I'm sure they weren't happy about that. But today an update has been issued that the app description involves "graphical tweaks" and "bug fixes", so this should solve whatever problems I was encountering. More importantly, it shows that they are on top of the situation and willing to make adjustments. I suggest checking out the new digital magazine (US App Store link) which is designed to be read in landscape.

Other media app updates that are bug fixes include Newsweek for iPad featuring the outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the "cover".

By the way, if you haven't heard, the parent company is now being called NewsBeast rather than the rather awkward sounding The Newsweek/DailyBeast Company LLC. Both names are pretty silly, aren't they?

Two other magazines issuing iOS 6.1 updates have been The Economist for iPad and both tablet editions from America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Illustrated Magazine and Cook's Country Kitchen.

I couldn't happen but notice the app update from the department store chain Macy's. The update for their iPhone app, simply called Macy's. The development team had a bit of fun with the app description:
  • We’ve squashed a big bug! You can now search seamlessly: we fixed the issue with the back button bringing you to the beginning of your search results. It will now bring you back to the last search results page you viewed. How great is that?
  • A newly-designed shop screen & revised home screen make it easier than ever to navigate the app and shop incredible finds in the department of your choice.
  • iPhone 5 support. Woo-hoo!
  • Fixed other minor bugs.

When the folks at Folio: created and launched their Ning site called MediaPro the idea seemed to be be a good one. Hundreds of magazine media professionals soon signed up and completed their profiles. Eventually Folio was able to get over 6,000 people to sign up – quite an accomplishment I thought (and still do).

Two problems soon seemed to become apparent, though. One, you just can't seem to get media people to talk opening, no matter what the forum. Jobs are scarce and few want to discuss issues in so open a forum. Two, Ning never really got going the way some thought it would.

Ning launched in October of 2005, and now is part of Glam Media.

Folio: will continue to use its Facebook and LinkedIn pages to try and create communities, though the publication's real issue has always been that it has a substandard website that features a minimum of new content each day, listed in headline form. That content used to featured in the publication's e-newsletter, which pretty much eliminated the need to visit the website. Now, under the ownership of Access Intelligence, the emphasis has shifted to paid content, which again does little to bolster the website which is now behind a metered paywall.