Why Magazine Apps Don't Really Work
Why don't print publishers like apps? Initially they had the "collective delusion...that mobile computers with large, colorful screens... would allow them to unwind their unhappy histories with the Internet," writes Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of Technology Review.
But then many problems cropped up. Among them: the difficulties of adapting print pubs to a new format "mostly written in a language called Objective C, which no one in [publications'] WebDev departments knew," Pontin writes. Also, "stories in apps didn't really link" to other sources, creating "digital media closed off from other digital media."
Pontin explains the case against apps insightfully, including the particulars of his pub's disastrous turn with the technology. "I hated every moment of our experiment with apps, because it tried to impose something closed, old, and printlike on something open, new, and digital," he writes.
Eventually Technology Review took the Web-based route the Financial Times did, killing its apps and launching "a new version of its website written in HTML5, which can optimize the site for the device a reader is using and provide many features and functions that are applike."