Thursday, March 7, 2013

Morning Brief: UK developer offers free Windows 8 free app and support to publishers (for 1 year); B2B publishers Macfadden updates its tablet edition apps

I've written before that if the major mobile platforms wanted to to dominate the future of digital publishing one of them would show it by helping publishers with the two big challenges they face: the cost of app development, and monetization through advertising.

Today Stonewash, a UK developer introduced a program to entice publishers to use its solution to develop for Microsoft's Windows 8. Publishers that sign up get the following features, which the company says are worth over £12,000:

  • Pre-launch consultation and production training
  • Development, testing and deployment of their native Windows 8 application
  • Microsoft's Ads in Apps network enabled at launch
  • 12 months (or 12 issues) of issues free of charge
  • 10,000 GB of transfer
  • No maintenance costs or hidden fees
Unfortunately, there will be other considerations. For one thing, few Windows 8 tablets are currently in the market. For another, the free offer is for one year. By using Stonewash's own pricing calculator one can see that there would be considerable fees to pay after the first year.

But if developing for Windows 8 is something on a publisher's agenda they only have three weeks to accept the offer as applications are only being accepted on the Stonewash website through March 25.

B2B publisher Macfadden last night issued updates for all its tablet editions. This would include Beverage World, Pizza Today and the latest app released, Grocery Headquarters.

The reason listed in the app descriptions for the updates is "Application Update" – Macfadden is using the Mag+ platform to build its tablet editions.

Yesterday TNM reported a blog post about the HuffPost for Android app refresh released by the AOL-owned website. Last night The Huffington Post also issued an update for its iPad application, as well. The update for Huffington Post for iPad fixes some bugs, but also adds bookmarks and now lets the reader adjust font sizes.

HuffPost also has a tablet app for Android, but that app has not been updated since November so one probably can expect an updated version there, as well.