Monday, September 28, 2009

A New Exactly and Free Branded Apps

Today Apple approved and released our first revision to Exactly. This is the free App that can be used to access any of the subscriber services provided by Exact Editions. Version 1.3 has some cool new features:

  1. Search is now supported. So a single issue, a title, or a collection of titles can be searched and the results displayed on the iPhone.
  2. Easier "settings" so that the user can select, from within the App, the account she may need to access.
  3. A contents page is always available on the Toolbar.
  4. Better performance on slower networks (but WiFi is still usually the best).
  5. Better UI eg in sliding between pages.
Oh yes, we can see more ways in which the App can be improved and there will be new releases in due course! But it is already finger lickin' neat and tasty. New versions are available in the standard way for Apps. There will be a flag on the App Store icon and users can effect an upgrade whenever sync-ing the phone to the iTunes account.

We will produce new releases quite regularly, but there is an Apple approval process at each stage: so allow for occasional pauses. We will also upgrade Branded Apps regularly, and new versions of the Athletics Weekly and the Spectator App will today/tomorrow be wending their way through the approval process. (Yes the Spectator App has only been in the App store for three days, but it did spend 9+ weeks in the approval process, so improvements have been racing ahead whilst the bureaucracy grinds).

Today was a busy day for the Exact Editions segment of the App store, because the INEE App has also been released. This is a free branded App for the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies, a global network of NGOs, UN agencies and other independent policy makers and practitioners who work to ensure all those affected by crisis have access to quality and safe education. They needed an App which would be available when there is minimal communications infrastructure and this also a way to boost the awareness of their standards and policy position. The INEE App is the first EE branded App to support search:

Free branded Apps are an important new capability for the Exact Editions platform, and the potential to offer interactive 'promotional' catalogues and resources for iPhone users will not be lost on direct marketeers. Calling from the page is a key asset in this regard.


Paul Halford said...

Is a similar app being developed for Android?

Adam Hodgkin said...

We have no immediate plans, but we are watching how the Android apps market develops.