The midwinter break seems to be getting longer. But we have been busy improving the Exact Editions App functionality in the last few weeks.
There have been some important changes in the way we view Apps. The first big change is that the Exact Editions App platform now supports full issue sync-ing to the iPhone. The sync-ing is only possible in a WiFi zone and it happens in the background, automatically whilst you are using WiFi. The sync will only work for the 'most recent issue' for a periodical (if it happened for everything iPhones would soon be full of back issues). This development was strongly requested by early users of the Exact Editions Apps and it has been warmly welcomed. The change has three important consequences:
- Subscribers can read the current issue of a magazine anywhere on their iPhone (no need to be connected to the web, so great for tubes and airplanes).
- Reading of a sync-ed issue is significantly faster and smoother. You have to be in a very good web environment (eg 4G) to get such a fast response from an un-synced App.
- An incidental benefit is that a subscriber whose sub has ended, will still have access to the last issue of the subscription, even after the term of the subscription. This has obvious benefits for the subscriber, but it also makes 'trial' or 'free' Apps more attractive, when the trial has ended the sync-ed issue is still there.
PaidContent today had a premature piece on the Music Week App where the journalist got this story almost backwards. The last minute change alluded to was not a matter of 'rethinking' on prices, but of fast moving development to offer a 'free trial' something which had not previously been possible with the Exact Editions technology and the Apple e-commerce rules. This was a case of 'instant development' not of 'indecision'. A lightning advance not a hasty retreat. We expect all our magazine Apps to adopt the same taste-before-you-buy approach in future. The response to the Music Week App has so far been very strong. More than encouraging: confirmation. Free Apps to paid for subscriptions is the way that magazines will work. That is the story that PaidContent needs to take a look at.