Posts Tagged


In 2007, the world was a different place. The App Store didn’t exist yet, and the iPhone had just been announced. Steve Jobs wanted consumers to fill their iPhones with web apps. Before they debuted the App Store, Apple tried to prove that web apps could be as easy to use and as responsive as native apps. Although web apps didn’t succeed the way Jobs originally intended them to, that doesn’t mean they’re not worth exploring.

In the last two articles on digital publishing and the iPad, we took in-depth looks at a lot of apps that offer magazine services on iOS, including Zinio, apps on Apple’s Newsstand, and Flipboard. They’re just the beginning of the digital publishing movement. Magazine publishers all over the world are also investing in HTML-based web apps that come with a lot of benefits for both them and readers. But there are two big questions everybody always asks about web apps, even my own mother when I explained this article to her: “What is it; why bother?” and “Are they better than the apps I’ve already got installed on my iPad?” Read on to get my take on it.


When asked why Apple didn’t license its Macintosh operating system, Steve Jobs always quoted Alan Kay: “People who are serious about software should build their own hardware.” In the same sense, his Newsstand app on the iPad is starting to fuel a similar revolution amongst writers. If fact, if I may approximate the quote for my own purposes, it’s become my belief that if you love writing, you should want to build the content platform yourself.

With Newsstand, this is exactly the sort of creative thinking Apple is fostering.

Welcome back to our discussion on the iPad and digital publications. In our first article, we took a look at the current state of affairs and analyzed the difficulties the platform has faced in its first few years. In part two, I’ll be walking you through the advancements many publications have made using Newsstand as their backend. Keep reading to find out more about how the iPad is changing the publication industry.


Since the introduction of the iPad in 2010, the state of digital publishing has gone through a lot of radical changes. Not unlike the shift towards “buy once and watch everywhere” in the movie industry, magazine publishers have had to account for the adjusted expectations of consumers.

The dust hasn’t settled from this big change yet, though, and this year it feels like things have really gotten a kickstart. There are a lot of ways publishers are handling this adjustment, and we’re going to outline a few of the responses over three feature articles here at iPad.AppStorm. In our first article, we’re taking a look at the basic principles of Newsstand and cross-platform pursuits like Zinio. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in: This is going to be good. (more…)

The biggest problem with Apple’s products is that they keep people within a walled garden. There’s a lot of benefits to the walled garden in some cases — namely security — but there can also be annoying detractions. One example is the DRM in the iBooks app that makes it altogether impossible to read anything you purchased on anything other than an iPad (I’d love it if Apple used .mobi instead so I could put anything I purchase from them on my Kindle).

But then there are some walls in Apple’s garden that nobody likes, like Newsstand. Newsstand is one of those apps that Apple let get away. Not only are most of the magazines in Newsstand difficult to search for in its Store (Apple really needs to merge the Newsstand with the iBooks Store), but they’re also merely digital scans of paper-based media with a few hyperlinks thrown in for good measure. Newsstand’s proprietary format and wooden shelves have driven a lot of people away from the app and towards its only clear, cross-platform alternative: Zinio. (more…)

The magazine industry will readily acknowledge that it hasn’t adapted well to the digital landscape. To try and play catch-up, some of the biggest publishers in the game have teamed and created Next Issue.

Next Issue functions much like Apple’s Newsstand by aggregating digitized versions of print content. But unlike Newsstand, all the magazines in Next Issue are available within one app, so you don’t have to hop from one application to another to read your favorite rags.

It’s a great idea with lots of promise, but one big issue hinders it from reaching its full potential. Let’s talk about it after the break.  (more…)

Newsstand is, basically, a way of organizing and making it easier to find magazine apps. Don’t think of it as a stand-alone app that will arrange all your stuff like iBooks does. In fact, Apple doesn’t even advertise it as an app, they call it a “folder”.

What’s most interesting about this folder is its integration with the “Newsstand” section of the App Store. Along with the introduction of this new folder in iOS 5, Apple also opened up a new section on the App Store that is dedicated just to magazines and newspapers, and in which you can get any free magazine app (as long as it’s available) in just a matter of seconds. But how does it work, and how important is it? Let’s see!


This week on iPad.AppStorm we’ve had a couple of articles that have focussed on magazines and the iPad. First there was the in-depth opinion piece by Kevin Whipps on how to fix the problems with current iPad magazines, and then we had a review of The New Yorker by Zach LeBar.

It got me to thinking about whether the iPad will ever completely trump print as the primary medium for magazine-style consumption? Will the interactive experience of the iPad make it unavoidably attractive for publishers in the future?

We are really only seeing the first wave of magazines truly optimised for the intuitive experience of the iPad, is this going to be a powerful trend?

I’m fascinated to hear what you think about the future of magazines in relation to the iPad! Obviously this is all speculation, but if you had to hazard an opinion what would it be?

Do feel free to expand on your answer by leaving a comment, I’m interested to know what you think about the future of magazines on the iPad. Have you found any particularly stunning ones?

I love magazines. There’s nothing quite like the experience of opening up the mailbox and getting your latest issue of your favorite publication, then spending a few hours pouring through the glossy pages and learning new things.

Of course, print media has been in trouble for years now, and everyone is trying to figure out how to make more cash. The iPad was once considered the savior for the print world, but at the moment the results are less than sparkling. How could that be? The iPad offered so much promise?

I”ll tell you why: Print media doesn’t get it. They don’t understand what makes the iPad such a unique device and how to take advantage of all its technology to make their print magazine so much better. What do they do to fix the problem? Let’s take a look and see what magazines are doing right, and what they’re doing wrong.