Apple’s Newsstand Debuts, Grouping iOS Publications In One Folder

Conde Nast, Bonnier, Future, Nomad Editions and Associated Newspapers were amongst the publishers whose titles were on board when Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) launched its Newsstand feature ahead of iOS 5’s full launch on Wednesday.

The feature is a new application that merely contains latest issues of titles that iPad or iPhone users have subscribed to or downloaded in iTunes Store’s app store, a bit like a dedicated version of a regular folder.

Magazines and newspapers are still apps; no change there. The Newsstand folder contains a link out to titles’ apps on iTunes Store. Discovery is still done on iTunes Store. This is not a massive step change, this is not quite Apple “saving newspapers”.

But participating titles can invoke automatic edition updates, so the fatter apps can beam new editions to subscribers overnight.

Publisher participation in Newsstand means their app editions are now displayed only in the Newsstand folder and not on iOS home screens as the distinct apps they are. The Economist is not participating in Newsstand.

  • The Daily, Wired, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic were picked as featured U.S. publications inside Newsstand.
  • Conde Nast has placed titles including Wired and GQ in the system.
  • Associated Newspapers’ UK free commuter newspaper Metro on Wednesday replaced its digital replica PDF app with a proper iPad tablet app, built on Mobile IQ’s Press Run system, which plugs in to Metro’s production system. It will update automatically at 4am.
  • Nomad Editions, which is led by former Newsweek president Mark Edmiston and already had a single iOS app to aggregate its five HTML-based tablet-only magazines, is upgrading its app to be Newsstand-compliant.
  • Future Publishing (LSE: FUTR), whose digital magazine fortunes have surged from lowly desktop digital replica sales thanks to placing Zinio and app editions on iPad, has now turned much of its portfolio in to native iPad apps with Newsstand support.