Tag Archives: Flipboard

7 tips for making your live demo not suck

SAN FRANCISCO — Myles Weissleder has witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to startup demos. The former VP of public affairs at Meetup.com presides over SF New Tech, a showcase for disruptive hopefuls that he’s

Copy your Flipboard articles over to friends as iOS app goes social

If you’ve grabbed a Flipboard article that you want to share with other Flipboarding friends, the latest version of the iOS app allows you to do it right from within the app.

Do you ever find something on Flipboard that you want to pass along? Now it’s easy to share the stories you enjoy with other people within in the app—give the gift of awesome reading this season.

- Share stories directly to your friends on Flipboard. Select the mail icon in the share menu and enter their name or email address. Your friends will be notified in Flipboard to see what you have shared with them.
- Receive notifications when other people on Flipboard share stories with you.
- Bug fixes and performance improvements.

Flipboard is a free download on iTunes. The app was last updated in November with a more iOS 7 style look and performance improvements.

Filed under: Apps Tagged: App Store, Flipboard, iOS, iOS 7, iPhone 5, iTunes, Magazine, new features, SMS, Social Networking

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The tablet magazine ship is sinking. Fast.

Last month I published a post on my company blog that caused some (shall we say) interesting feedback from both our publisher clients as well as the broader media community. While I was certainly not the first to proclaim the death of the tablet magazine, the now universally recognized and unequivocal data pointing to the steep decline of print-replica apps is becoming undeniable.

What’s even worse news for magazine publishers who have chosen either a PDF-based or Adobe InDesign-led “Plug-In” app solution in a race to cash in on Apple’s Newsstand is the damning evidence of Apple’s lack of support…and frankly, interest in the Newsstand app itself.

Once the “holy grail” for magazine publishers, promising front-and-center exposure for their periodicals, the Newsstand app in iOS 7 has become almost irrelevant.

As pointed out by Hamish Mckenzie from Pandodaily:

“…there is now no visual reminder within the Newsstand icon that there are publications inside, waiting to be read. On top of that, in iOS7 users can now hide the Newsstand icon inside a folder. The once-special treatment that Apple gave publishers in order to encourage the distribution of magazines to the iPhone and iPad has apparently vanished, at least in terms of visual prominence.”

As Mckenzie points out, even Glenn Fleishman’s The Magazine (once industry-darling for the ‘new paradigm of digital magazines’) is suffering from near anonymity given its presence in Newsstand. According to Fleishman, he receives “email regularly from readers who say that they forget that [new] issues even come out.”

So what’s happening here – is Apple actively abandoning the Newsstand concept or simply responding to user appetite and shifting demand in iOS 7?

The answer is probably a little of both.

Since its inception the Newsstand app has angered iOS users to no end in its inability to be “hidden” or tucked away into a folder. It’s also no secret that tablet magazines are simply not being read – the form factor and technology is basically making the standardized magazine page a near anachronism in a world of dynamic live canvases of the caliber of a Flipboard or Zite.

So it’s not a case of Apple killing Newsstand – but rather, Newsstand killing itself. What we are dealing with now is simply a folder – and worse than that – a folder that can be hidden within another folder.

Now that all iOS 7 apps can enjoy background refresh and download, and given the ability to hide the app and even “mute” Newsstand reminders – publishers are forced to compete on a completely level playing field with all other iOS apps.

And for magazine publishers – that’s frightening.

With a number of magazine publishers as current and former clients – we are acutely aware of the challenges they face. From dwindling print revenues to increasing internal costs managing simultaneous print and digital editions of their magazines – it’s absolutely understandable that choosing the apparent “quick win” of InDesign-generated apps (Adobe’s own DPS, Mag+, etc.), or even PDF-wrapper solutions provide a cheap and rapid route to the App store.

But it’s been a false economy, and there simply is no time to waste waiting for things to improve.

Publishers must break free of the Newsstand and InDesign/PDF trap and invest in their publications as stand-alone, real, honest-to-God apps – or find their titles even more neglected within a vestigial folder that will be inevitably reside inside yet another folder.

And that’s scary.

The Newsstand and tablet magazine honeymoon is over. Apple knows it. The industry knows it. And consumers have made it painfully clear for far too long.

It’s time for magazine publishers to abandon the easy options – and make the hard decisions that will save their digital titles.

Eddie Vassallo is the CEO of Entropy, an app development company.

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Google kills Currents, launches a Flipboard-style Newsstand with support for newspaper paywalls

    Apple is no longer the only mobile platform with a digital Newsstand: Google said on Wednesday that it is launching a one-stop Android shop for magazine, newspaper and blog content called Google Newsstand, an app created by merging Currents — the Flipboard-style magazine app it first launched in 2011 — with its existing Google Play magazine store. The company says the app will offer more than 1,900 free and paid content sources.

    In addition to the magazine partners it already had through Currents, Google is adding subscription-only newspaper providers like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to the Newsstand app. Google Play director of product management Scott Dougall said users will be able to import accounts they already have with those outlets, and will also be able to click and subscribe to other news-content providers such as the Financial Times from within the app. Existing users of Currents and Google magazines just have to upgrade their apps, he said.


    The Newsstand gives users a single place to catch up on all the news and information from the sources they want with its “Read Now” stream, Dougall said — and it will also recommend new types of content or new topics based on what it knows about a reader. This kind of smart curation, driven by the vast quantities of data Google has about users, could be one of the app’s biggest strengths, especially when compared with a similar service such as Flipboard.

    A shot across Flipboard’s bow

    In what appeared to be a shot at Flipboard, Dougall said that while the reading experience of Google Newsstand is similar to the app — in that content from multiple sources is pulled in — the Google experience involves a closer relationship with the media partners whose content appears there. “We have full article access, we’re not just repurposing content that’s out there,” he said. “We are working very closely with our media partners.”

    Flipboard has faced some criticism in the past for not providing enough value to the media companies whose content it uses, but the company says it has been working to develop better relationships with providers like the New York Times — where Flipboard also integrates with the paper’s paywall. CEO Mike McCue has also said that it plans to roll out support for more subscription-based media offerings, and wants to help providers take advantage of premium advertising as well.


    The name Newsstand suggests similarities to Apple’s mobile magazine and newspaper store, but Google’s version is very different, Dougall said. Whereas the Apple version of the Newsstand contains discrete magazine and newspaper apps, he said — something that has drawn a lot of criticism from those who feel apps get lost in the Apple Newsstand, and are difficult for users to find or update — Google’s version is more of a Flipboard-style experience, he said, where content flows into the app from different sources.

    Media companies like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times weren’t part of Google Currents because the web giant’s app didn’t support subscription models or paywalls, Dougall said, but they are part of Newsstand because Google can now integrate with those plans. The company has a revenue-sharing arrangement with its partners that involves either a share of advertising or subscription revenue, but Dougall wouldn’t give any details about the size of the share it gets.

    This post was edited after it was published in order to reflect the fact that Flipboard integrates with the paywall at the New York Times rather than the Wall Street Journal

    Post and thumbnail courtesy of Shutterstock / Christopher Boswell

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