April 16, 2014


Are apps dead?

Prompted by the realisation that colleagues and friends weren’t reading magazine apps, Bob Newman asked a group of editorial designers, including me, what we felt about apps, the production process, and what the future holds.

A very useful round-up, revealing general skepticism. Read the full piece on Bob’s Newmanology blog.


Comment on April 28, 2014 by Marc Backwell says:

A very interesting discussion, and plenty of food for thought. I think Josh Klenert’s point about being bound to a print magazine’s production cycle is a good one. It’s something we were aware of when we produced our Pro Photographer for iPad app (http://bit.ly/1mtxeCm) which includes a live feed of syndicated content, giving the user a reason to return to the app every day, rather than monthly, or bi-monthly. I think a lot of publishers got burned by over-investing in app versions of their magazines, then pulled back drastically when the silver bullet missed its mark. Others seemed to think that a tricked up PDF viewer would be enough, and were then disappointed by users’ apathy. Our app isn’t perfect, but we spent under £5000 developing it using PhoneGap, we own the codebase, and we don’t have to pay Adobe for every download. This drastically reduces the threshold for success. When only 3% of total subscriptions are digital, surely that represents an opportunity for publishers.

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