When iOS 8 went into developer betas, and so many interesting features began to be discussed, as well as a more developer-friendly approach, I had hopes. Perhaps Apple would “solve” Newsstand, and rescue it from neglect. Maybe it would break us out of Newsstand jail and let publication apps coexist, even if we had to give up showing a changing cover as the app’s icon. (It seemed unlikely Jony Ive would allow this, but he’s a clever man, and I thought he might have a solution to meld static app icons with changing covers.)
But iOS 8 went into release with nary a change. The Newsstand abides, a wasteland for publications that only use it as an adjunct—and us. The failure to improve iTunes and the App Store for discovery also remains problematic. It’s really impossible for people to find a publication that matches their interest when all they find are top-ten lists and a field to search for something they already know they want.
Glenn Fleishman writes, for Macworld, about the history of The Magazine, the publication that he has been editing, and which is retiring on December 18. I contributed an article to issue #5, Tour de Front Row.
A few months ago, I wrote a Macworld article explaining why I’ve stopped reading magazines with Newsstand. The Magazine, and Jim Dalrymple’s The Loop Magazine, are the only two exceptions. And then there was one…