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Old 06-28-2011, 03:28 PM   #1
tomsem
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Countdown to reading app Apple-calypse

Well, here we are, almost to the end of June. The fate of all reading apps hangs in the balance. It's been oddly quiet. All the reading apps I have are still in the App Store (even iFlow Reader), their store links intact.

Was it all just a bad dream, or is anything actually going to happen?

I don't think Apple will (or legally can) do anything about existing apps, until they update. So we might be waiting awhile for resolution on what the 'newly restated' guidelines mean for reading apps (as opposed to subscriptions).
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:23 AM   #2
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The newly restated guidelines mean that the apps will remove any web links to their stores, but otherwise carry on exactly the same.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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It seems as though Apple backed down on this. Perhaps it was all just a bluff Apple had hoped would work. At any rate, if Apple had carried through with their original threats there might have been a messy class action lawsuit, or even worse a US DOJ investigation. I suspect the little players would have had few choices against a giant like Apple, but Amazon could have easily afforded a long legal battle. Hopefully Apple will now move on to attempting to pick the pockets of another industry not related to eBooks.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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Hopefully Apple will now move on to attempting to pick the pockets of another industry not related to eBooks.
LOL ...what a wonderful line

They caved for sure.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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The newly restated guidelines mean that the apps will remove any web links to their stores, but otherwise carry on exactly the same.
That's a reasonable enough assumption, but it is only an assumption at this point. When an app actually gets approved, we'll finally know something.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:09 AM   #6
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That's a reasonable enough assumption, but it is only an assumption at this point. When an app actually gets approved, we'll finally know something.
It is what the policy says:
Quote:
11.13 Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a “buy” button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected

11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app.
Seems pretty clear.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:28 AM   #7
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It seems as though Apple backed down on this. Perhaps it was all just a bluff Apple had hoped would work.
Who says it didn't work?
A significant number of magazine and newspaper publishers signed up to the new newsstand platform, and it was never eBooks they were interested in.
For eBooks, although the iPad can be used to read all different formats, they are in silos, you have to read Apple's books in the iBooks app, Amazon's books in the Kindle app, other DRM-ePubs in BlueReader or txtr.
That is what they wanted to avoid for magazines and newspapers. There will now be a single frontend for all of them, which makes the iPad a more attractive platform as a whole.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:06 AM   #8
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There will now be a single frontend for all of them, which makes the iPad a more attractive platform as a whole.
How will there be a single front end? Which magazines that were previously published through a standalone application will now be published only through iBooks?

My understanding is that magazines for the Kindle and other platforms will continue to be read in those apps, just paid for elsewhere, and others, like the FT, will move to web apps.

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Old 06-30-2011, 03:26 PM   #9
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How will there be a single front end? Which magazines that were previously published through a standalone application will now be published only through iBooks?

My understanding is that magazines for the Kindle and other platforms will continue to be read in those apps, just paid for elsewhere, and others, like the FT, will move to web apps.

Graham
Kindle magazines are not supported on the iPad.
There weren't a whole lot of magazines and newspapers already available, which is probably why the program was introduced now, to try and get control early on. They wanted to prevent the proliferation from happening in the first place.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:39 PM   #10
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Kindle magazines are not supported on the iPad.
Oh, OK. What about things like Zinio? Can you read their magazines through iBooks or do you have to go into a separate app?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you see as a single front-end. Are you referring just to the way the payments are made?

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Old 07-01-2011, 04:54 AM   #11
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What I'm saying is that yes part of it is that Apple wanted to get a cut of the magazine and newspaper revenue, who doesn't want more money, but that could have been achieved just through enforcing in-app purchases.
The reason they have gone the newsstand route is to present a uniform UI to all the different magazine and newspapers who have signed up. Rather than having a dozen different apps with slightly different ways of paying, downloading and reading content, there will be one consistent one. That fits into Apple's desire to make things nice and simple, and means that ultimately they control the user experience, rather than each publisher doing so separately.
Apple is largely interested in content so that it can drive the sales of hardware, not for its own sake. They run their content operations at just over breakeven, I don't think they would tolerate running at a loss, but neither are they making huge profits from them. But the more content they can bring under a unified Apple banner, the more attractive their devices become, and that is where they make their money.
I can't see anything in the current policies that would prevent Zinio continuing (as long as they remove a way to purchase on device), and whether they can flourish will depend on whether the cheaper prices that they will presumably be able to offer by avoiding paying Apple 30% will be offset by not getting into the more visible and easier to use Apple storefront.
(Assuming that the deals Apple are signing with publisher don't restrict them from supplying magazines to other platforms.)
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:36 AM   #12
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Now July 1st, and the Kindle app is unchanged, but still in the store.
Are Apply only applying the guidelines to new app submissions/updates?
Amazon will want to update the app at some point.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:43 PM   #13
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Now July 1st, and the Kindle app is unchanged, but still in the store.
Are Apply only applying the guidelines to new app submissions/updates?
Amazon will want to update the app at some point.
My assumption is that anything previously approved can stay, so only new apps and updates are subject to new guidelines. If this is correct, then I would not expect any updates until there's some reason for one besides removing the Store button. So it might be months before anything changes.

Meanwhile I see that Bluefire plans an update for iOS 5. No mention of any issues with the new policy.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:25 PM   #14
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Part of the single front-end mentioned has to do with iOS 5. There's the Newsstand which will shove all these magazines and the like into a single folder. It also looks like there might be a little extra that apps can do in the way of a custom icon of the latest issue.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:02 AM   #15
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I believe that Apple originally gave a 30 day grace period beyond June 30 so the drop dead date is really July 30. In the meantime Hulu has complied with the guideline, removing the " Go to Hulu.com to subscribe" link .

http://allthingsd.com/20110620/hulu-...es-whos-next/?

Again, this will somewhat suck for the booksellers and consumers but Netflix has never had a Subscribe button and they are going great. The booksellers will do great too.
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