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Newsstand Publications Can Update (Automatically) Only Once Per Day [Updated]


Publications participating in Apple's Newsstand feature, coming this fall in iOS 5, will only be able to update their issues once per day, according to documents obtained by AppAdvice.
The background downloading feature of Newsstand is interestingly handled by push notifications. That is, when new content is ready, the developer can, once a day, send a push notification to your device with special data, and your iDevice will then (if it’s ready to do so, battery and connection-wise) start downloading new content in the background.
The ability to only update once per day is a curious decision, as it seems publishers will not be able to automatically update their pubs to reflect breaking news or publish corrections as they currently can via a website or dedicated app.

This isn't a huge deal for weekly or monthly print publications which are used to having deadlines before closing the book on an edition. But for daily newspapers, who are getting into the habit of updating a newspaper webpage dozens of times a day, it may present some difficulties. Oddly, digital technologies like the iPad have pushed publications towards an "up-to-the-minute" news cycle, but Newsstand seems to be going back to a more traditional "once-a-day" publishing model.

As with all Apple's content efforts, getting publishers on board isn't going as smoothly as the company would hope. Eight French publications are banding together to negotiate with Apple regarding Newsstand access, with concerns over the 30% cut in revenue that Apple traditionally takes, and access to customer data.

Update: Some readers on Twitter have cleared up the situation slightly. @Xonder notes that "Newsstand apps can only update once a day __In the background__. Once the app is launched, it can update all the time."

@BenjaminZAMayo says users will be notified of important updates and breaking news "as they do at the moment - [with] push notifications," but without automatic downloads.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 34 months ago
Oh come on MR, this is a complete non-issue you're trying to peddle as the next big controversy.

Apple is positioning Newsstand as an easy way for traditional print publications to be digitally supplied; you are literally reading the print magazine on an iPad. This requires a hefty amount of information transfer in one go and so it's logical to allow Newsstand to auto-download an edition by itself. This happens once and once only for each edition of the publication.

If however you want to receive up-to-the-minute information, that needs a dedicated app; Newsstand is not, and should not, be the place, for that. Now, if the traditional app frameworks don't provide for the kind of push notifications you want to achieve, that's a separate issue altogether; don't try to put the round peg in the square hole by wanting to use Newsstand for something it shouldn't be used for.
Rating: 9 Positives
Posted: 34 months ago

Apple really don't help themselves do they, they go out of their way to make things as unattractive as possible for publishers it seems to me.


Correction, Apple goes out of their way to make things as attractive as possible for users. Publishers are and will always be secondary to users in Apple's decisions.

Every time I hear about how Apple won't give away user data to third-parties I cheer for them. Every time I see Apple do something that makes it impossible for irresponsible third-parties to drain your battery life or significantly affect the OS in anyway, I cheer for them.
Rating: 8 Positives
Posted: 34 months ago

It's not smart, it's dumb. I want the most up-to-date news, always. As soon as I turn the thing on.

If there is an option to force fewer updates (like setting email to retrieve every 30 or 60 minutes, as opposed to push), that's great, but the whole idea of the iPad is to have everything at your fingertips -- not 6 hours ago news at your fingertips.


Wow, for a Macrumors editor you certainly didn't do your research. :rolleyes:

I think you are confusing Newstand with something like an RSS Feed/Reader. Watch the WWDC Keynote (http://www.apple.com/apple-events/wwdc-2011/) again; they make it VERY clear that Newstand is for those daily/weekly/monthly magazine and newspaper subscriptions; to make it easy for you to say, if you have a subscription to New York Times, when you go to bed at night, the newest daily edition of that NYT will be on your iPad when you wake up in the morning.

This is how it's supposed to be. It is NOT a RSS up-to-the-minute news reader. It's for subscriptions! Again, If you subscribe to Wired Magazine, you'll only get it once a month (because, you know, Wired is only published ONCE A MONTH!)
Rating: 7 Positives
Posted: 34 months ago
Apple really don't help themselves do they, they go out of their way to make things as unattractive as possible for publishers it seems to me.
Rating: 6 Positives
Posted: 34 months ago

It's not smart, it's dumb. I want the most up-to-date news, always. As soon as I turn the thing on.

If there is an option to force fewer updates (like setting email to retrieve every 30 or 60 minutes, as opposed to push), that's great, but the whole idea of the iPad is to have everything at your fingertips -- not 6 hours ago news at your fingertips.


Wow, for a Macrumors editor you certainly didn't do your research. :rolleyes:

I think you are confusing Newstand with something like an RSS Feed/Reader. Watch the WWDC Keynote (http://www.apple.com/apple-events/wwdc-2011/) again; they make it VERY clear that Newstand is for those daily/weekly/monthly magazine and newspaper subscriptions; to make it easy for you to say, if you have a subscription to New York Times, when you go to bed at night, the newest daily edition of that NYT will be on your iPad when you wake up in the morning.

This is how it's supposed to be. It is NOT a RSS up-to-the-minute news reader. It's for subscriptions! Again, If you subscribe to Wired Magazine, you'll only get it once a month (because, you know, Wired is only published ONCE A MONTH!)


When you go to the New York Times website, do you see the news that was published at 11PM the night before?

How about we use the technology in new and fancy ways, rather than going backwards to the way they did it before?

Why would you have an iPad at all when you can just get the paper delivered to your home AND have something to wrap your fish in?


Ok, you are really missing the point (which is pretty amateurish for someone who is supposed to be an editor of a respected site like Macrumors; do your research!)

There are plenty of apps for up-to-the-minute news gathering, especially for the iPad (Flipboard, Pulse, etc.) that is NOT what Newstand was supposed to be.

Again, have you seen the Wired Magazine app? For $3.99 an issue, it is a way to subscribe to the digital version of their monthly magazine; but with interactive content. But it is published once a month. I just got the October issue delivered to me, but I had to get it manually. Now with Newstand, my Wired magazine subscription will be placed on the "Newstand" and I won't have to do anything as each month my issue of Wired will be automatically delivered, along with my issue of Spin magazine and the Daily, etc.

Newstand is not an up to the minute news reader, it is like the physical "Newstands" you see at the street corner in the city; with the hundreds of monthly magazines and daily newspapers from around the world sitting on the shelves... in other words, The Newsstand app is meant to simply collect all of your daily/weekly/monthly magazine and newspaper subscriptions. That's all.

How are you not understanding this working for Macrumors? Where's Arn...
Rating: 6 Positives
Posted: 34 months ago
This for background downloads of issues, this in no way limits the app creators ability to have a breaking news section just like the news apps have today. This is ADDED functionality it takes nothing away. Terrible positioning on this article MR. They can still use push notifications just like CNN etc do today to alert the user of a new article in the breaking news section.
Rating: 4 Positives
Posted: 34 months ago

Wow so many people just don't understand this article.


Could you maybe clarify in case I missed something? Because as I read it, crack reporter from Macrumors alerted us that Newstand will ONLY be able to push updates once a day! OMGZ! Even though we all already knew this if any of you watched the WWDC Keynote (http://www.apple.com/apple-events/wwdc-2011/) where Steve Jobs actually stated this very clearly. Not news.

I don't mean to come on so harsh, but this is just really sloppy reporting trying to make it sound like this is a newly discovered problem when this is what was intended by Newstand all along and revealed months ago. Sorry if I am missing anything else.
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 34 months ago
They can only print their magazines once a day, so how is this any different. If they want up to the minute then this outlet isn't for them.. it's pretty simple.
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 34 months ago

No more than Exchange/push email.

Because every email you receive is in the 10 to 200 MB range?

Thank you, Apple, for yet again doing the smart thing.
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 34 months ago
Isn't a newspaper that updates several times a day called a "web page?"

Check out CNN.com for example. :)
Rating: 2 Positives

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