Newsstand, everybody’s favorite feature of iOS (yes, sarcasm is intended), has received an update today. Apple, having apparently secured deals with publisher Hearst, will now be offering issues ahead of their print release. Techcrunch reports on the system:
“The exclusive arrangement varies by individual publication in terms of how far in advance you’ll be able to get the various Hearst titles compared to in print and from other online storefronts like Amazon’s Kindle marketplace, but each will be available at least a few days in advance, I’m told. Existing subscribers will get early access, as well as those signing up for the first time.”
Hearst is the publisher behind some fairly high-profile magazines, including Car and Driver and Popular Mechanics. It’s certainly an interesting development, especially given the fact that Newsstand has not taken the publishing world by storm. While certain applications, like The Magazine, have made great use of the features and APIs available within the app, traditional publications have typically opted for a much less-refined approach by simply uploading massive images. This format has resulted in huge downloads and slow performance – obviously not exactly a compelling combination.
Hopefully, this new section marks a turning point in the quality and availability of print material on Newsstand.