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

(View all)
Avatar
43 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 Votes
Avatar
43 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: 7 Votes
Avatar
43 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: 7 Votes
Avatar
43 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 Votes
Avatar
43 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 Votes
Avatar
43 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 Votes
Avatar
43 months ago

the difference is that we're not stuck in the 1960s where this was the only way the do things. Now newspapers can update their front pages if an important story breaks during the day. Newspapers and their readership want this.


This opinion right here is what I can't understand. Why so much hate for the traditional format? Why can't we have both?

My job, at least 3 out of the 5 days of the work week, keeps me from checking the news sites on a periodic basis (obviously today is not one of those days). And when I get home at night (between 7 and 8 pm) I'm not always inclined to catch up on everything (maybe watch Olbermann or Maddow for a few minutes), but then its on to more relaxing activities. And during the weekend? I tend to b outdoors, away from the news outlets.

So the traditional, newspaper-landing-on-your-doorstep format is great for me. Though to save on paper and hassle, a digital format works even better. I'll typically read through the New York Times between 6 and 8 am on my Kindle. This way I can catch up on all that I missed the day before. I don't have to be worried that something I intended to read after I got through with a different article has been pushed to the archives because the web editors, in an effort to continuously chug out stories, has posted some inane story on the first lady's schedule for the day or what one of the Kardashians said on the Today show. I'm also not terrified I'm missing breaking news, because the NYT app on my iPad is pushing breaking news alerts to me.

In addition, I don't get a lot of value out of up-to-the minute "breaking news" text stories anyway. The first post that goes up about the event (ex: Bin Laden dead) has value, but then it begins of long slog of almost meaningless updates asthe news outlets scramble to collect all the facts and put together the story. I'd much prefer to turn on the TV (or streaming video) after the first alert and get the story, and then read the text story when it's finished the next day (plus whatever well thought out editorial or column that goes with it).

So yeah, sorry folks. As much as up-to-the-minute-everything is the future (and believe me, I know, I'm a twitter addict), there is still value in the daily (and weekly, and monthly) periodical. It's just taking on a new role, not as the primary place for breaking news, but for the capsulation of all that occurred the day before. And there's no reason why there can't be room for both. So for those who need everything always up-to-date, ignore newstand and stick with your NYT/CNN/Fox News/etc apps (as far as I know they are not going away). I'll be cancelling my kindle subscriptions and moving to the newstand.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
43 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: 2 Votes
Avatar
43 months ago

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

Thank you, Apple, for yet again doing the smart thing.


Some of the magazines are even larger because of the method of publishing that converts text to images (stupidly).
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
43 months ago

Because it be nice to have less trees been cut down to feed your old person desires.


::Sigh:: Looks like someone has some reading comprehension issues.

So the traditional, newspaper-landing-on-your-doorstep format is great for me. Though to save on paper and hassle, a digital format works even better.


Haven't subscribed to a physical paper in years. I get them all on my Kindle. And for the record, I'm 28. Not really old. Just busy, and it's nice to have a daily periodical that shows me what I missed the day before.

Let's just stop freaking out and thinking that Newstand is going to take away our RSS feeds, our news apps, and our women and children. Newstand is for traditional publishers to sell their traditional product in a convenient location. I actually like the idea of increasing the limit to 2-3 times a day (after all, newspapers used to print a late edition) but constant push is better suited for other apps.
Rating: 1 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]