Newsstand sucks. Ever since it launched I’ve hardly ever heard a nice thing said about it. The vast majority of users seem to want nothing more than to hide the icon for it and forget it exists.
The thing is, I think the concept of Newsstand is a good one – it has just been very poorly executed by Apple so far. The idea of having a special area for all your favorite iPad newspaper and magazine titles, and a single easy place to find all those titles, is a good one. Here are my quick suggestions for how to improve it:
— Make it part of iBooks. We already have an Apple eBook reader and eBook store app – why not use it to house iPad newspapers and magazines as well, just like many brick and mortar bookstores do? Create a dedicated section of iBooks for newspaper and magazine titles. We already have an area for our PDF collections – it seems easy enough to add an area for Newsstand.
— Make a dedicated area for iPad newspapers and magazines in the iBookstore too – to make it much easier to find these titles. Have a clear indication to show whether titles support Newsstand (and automatic background content refreshing) or not.
— Don’t allow titles that do not properly support the automatic, background updating with new issues to be in Newsstand at all. Allowing titles like The Daily and others that fail to get their shit together on this into Newsstand just tarnishes the image of the whole concept. These titles wouldn’t be banned from the App Store, just banned from Newsstand until they prove they can do what is promised. Right now there are far too many titles allowed in that don’t come close to doing the automatic background updating that they’re supposed to.
That’s my quick Monday morning .02 on how Apple could get Newsstand to not suck. What do you all think? Love Newsstand? Hate it? Think any of these suggestions would help?