Friday, April 5, 2013

Morning Brief: An update on the new tablet magazine InFocus; New York updates its new tablet edition app to fix subscriber download issues; Facebook 'Home'

The managing editor at CustomMade Media Australia, Keith Barrett was kind enough to respond to my post yesterday on their new photography tablet magazine, Infocus Australasia (see original post here which also contains a walk-through video).

The new title uses the Oomph platform to create a native tablet magazine, with (as the TOC states) licensed content from Dennis Publishing. The question that was left open was what was the content being licensed and how much? Barrett was kind enough to fill in the details:

"Yes, we do use licensed content from Dennis, and that amounts to three pieces in each edition – the two ‘Tutorials’, and the ‘Project’," Barrett wrote. "These pieces of copy are generic (it doesn’t matter if you’re in the US, UK on Australia, the anatomy of a DSLR is the same; the same applies to shooting a silhouette or any of our Project pieces). So, we licensed some content that allow us to cover off the basics."

"What that does is allow us to put our editorial budget into genuine, unique, and localised content. This means, as you would know, getting freelancers involved, sourcing photography, and so on."

The new digital magazine is also free of charge – I called that a head scratcher because the magazine is so good.

"Giving this all away for free is a pretty unique approach for any business, but we identified the space on the domestic market for a high-quality, digital magazine in this space," Barrett wrote. "We elected to give it away with the aim of growing it rapidly and therefore need to be confident that we can deliver a product that will be sought out by a variety of people because of the content it contains. We’re confident that it will. Our second edition will have up to three new sections, offering even more for readers."

New York magazine, which launched a new tablet edition using the Mag+ platform (see original TNM post here), today issued an app update to fix some nagging subscriber download issues.

The app was developed by The Wonderfactory and is very much a change from the original app. The first attempt at a tablet edition produced a stand-alone app with a replica edition inside. The new app is to be found inside the Apple Newsstand and contains two parts: daily, updating news content from the magazine's websites, and a natively designed tablet edition of the magazine.

"I'm just getting with my new New York app but love the new interface and weblike content 'in' my magazine app. Way to go NY Mag! Pushing it!" writes one enthusiastic reader in the their App Store review.

Facebook rolled out its new "phone" in a much anticipated event yesterday, though what was announced was not so much a phone as a home screen replacement solution. It will be interesting to see whether "Home", to be rolled out beginning April 12, will catch on with loyal Facebook users.

I am not one of "Home's" target users as I avoid Facebook at all costs. But there are millions of Facebook users and because their perspective will be very different from my own I'll avoid any temptation to comment on the new product.

But I will say that it is good to see a company looking at the cell phone is a new way, even if it is self-promoting (oops, I commented on it). The platform has remained static since the introduction of the iPhone more than five years ago and it is about time someone shook things up a bit (a sentiment T-Mobile seems to agree with, as well).