More often than not, Apple tests their products before throwing them out into the market. One may assume this should have been the case with their latest lineup as well. Sadly though, that’s not it. According to Digiday, a number of publishers have complained about the new News+ app. There are a couple of dimensions to this complaint, valid concerns to be quite honest. According to the report, while the service caters to both the users and publishers, neither are too pleased with it.
Firstly, the publishers complained about Apple being less accommodating. Apple has allegedly been prioritizing- some publishers more than others. According to the report, Apple has created a separate network (Slack Channel) to cater to their issues, while smaller publishers face many issues. Glitches and Bugs, the new app is full of them. This is mainly due to the fact that Apple has allowed third-party developers to develop templates for the magazines. Not only that, the system works with each page being scanned into a PDF which is still not usable. While bigger publishers manage to redesign the entire magazine, it is not very cost efficient for the smaller parties.
Secondly, many users have complained about a sloppy experience with the App. This stems from the PDF magazines, mentioned above. Some companies which do not have the resources to remake the magazines, end up with simple PDF versions. This is quite a bummer for a user who subscribes to a 10ish $ app. The whole idea of an App controlling your subscriptions is to be able to make them interactive. If they are simple, not interactive PDFs then perhaps there is no point in wasting the user’s time.
Perhaps this was quite an aggressive response to Apple’s new App. But, we cannot be blamed. The trillion dollar giant has set the bar so high that we expect nothing short of perfect. Now, obviously, there will be bug fixes and the outcry will result in Apple taking the matter in its own hands for the template issue. Perhaps, once it would be fixed, it can make for an experience that is considerably better than the current one. For now though, if I were subscribed to Apple’s News+, I’d cancel my subscription and find PDF versions of the magazine elsewhere (not promoting plagiarism or bootlegging in any way!).