True multitasking, AirDrop, Control Center, new Notification Center, iTunes Radio – all impressive new features in iOS 7. But perhaps none of those would win a public poll for Most Popular New iOS 7 Feature.
I’d wager that this one would be at the very least a good dark horse bet:
You can now put Newsstand in a folder.
Yup, you can send Newsstand into exile with prejudice; chuck it in a folder, call it whatever you like, and never have to lay eyes on it again.
As with any built-in iOS app, you can’t delete Newstand – but at least now you can banish it to a folder, something that a whole lot of users have been wanting ever since Newsstand first appeared on iPad and iPhone home screens.
Personally, I don’t mind Newsstand too much and have a few titles I subscribe to that make it worth having around – but I know that many of you have already sent it away or will soon after you read this.
Have you banished Newsstand yet?
The Newsstand section of the iPad App Store now has a good range of leading newspapers and magazines for the iPad, an these iPad editions offer subscription plans. Generally, just as with print publications, subscriptions offer savings as compared to buying individual issues.
When you sign-up for an iPad newspaper or magazine subscription it is set to auto-renew unless you manually change it. It’s easy to keep track of your subscriptions, modify them, or cancel them right on the iPad itself. Before iOS 6 there were a couple of ways to do this – now under iOS 6 there’s just one way. Here’s how you manage your subscriptions:
— Open the App Store app on your iPad and tap on the Featured button in the bottom nav bar
— Scroll down to the bottom of the Featured page – below the Quick Links section – and tap on the button that says ‘Apple ID’ and your username
— That will bring up a popup dialog – tap the top choice on there that say ‘View Apple ID’. Then sign in with your Apple ID password when prompted.
How do I get my XYZ newspaper or magazine app to go into the Newsstand folder?
I’ve seen a few people asking this at forums and social networks, so I thought I’d give it a quick mention. Usually they’ve tried dragging the app in question into the Newsstand folder and seen that this doesn’t work.
The answer is simple. You can’t add apps to Newsstand manually. When newspaper and magazine apps are updated to support Newsstand (and its supposed but failing automatic background downloads) they are automatically moved into Newsstand for you.
So if one of your newspaper or magazine titles isn’t in Newsstand yet, it’s because the publisher hasn’t got it ready to be in there yet – and all you can do is wait for that to happen. So far it doesn’t look like a huge percentage of titles are supporting it. So far on my iPad 2 I have seven titles that are in Newsstand and thirteen that are not.
From what I can see in comments at this site and around major social networks, an awful lot of iPad users have no love at all for the new Newsstand smart folder. I even ended up sharing a tip recently on how to get Newsstand in a folder, as the next best thing to being able to delete it.
Despite all the hate for Newsstand from some users it looks there are more than enough others who are enjoying it to make at least one major publisher happy. As Apple Insider reports, Condé Nast have announced this week that the launch of Newsstand along with iOS 5 has given a huge boost to their titles:
Magazine publisher Condé Nast announced on Tuesday that weekly digital subscription sales of its titles jumped up 268 percent following the arrival of Newsstand and iOS 5 on the iPad earlier this month.
The company released a press release noting that, since Newsstand was released on Oct. 12, new subscription sales for all nine digital editions of its titles have gone up 268 percent, while single copy sales are up 142 percent, as compared to the previous eight weeks.
Those sure seem like impressive numbers for Condé Nast’s nine iPad titles – which include Wired and The New Yorker.
I actually quite like the idea of Newsstand – as it has saved me some home screen space and it provides a quicker way to browse for iPad newspaper and magazine titles. I’m not at all impressed with how the supposed automatic, background downloads of new issues for Newsstand titles is working thus far, or not working so far I should say.
So far Newsstand’s touted ability to automatically download updates is not living up to its billing for me. In fact, so far I don’t see what advantage there is in its background downloads – as it does not seem to have improved the initial load time for the titles that are using it.
Admittedly I’ve only got seven apps at the moment which have been updated for Newsstand, and several of them are monthly titles which have not had a content refresh since being added to Newsstand. But I do have two titles that are updated 6 and 7 days a week – The Guardian iPad Edition and The Daily.
Both are set to automatically download new content in Settings > Store, yet so far just about every time I open either one of them – even when they have the blue ‘New’ banner on them in Newsstand – they seem to require a fair while to locate a new issue and load up the front page.
The Daily, the first iPad-only newspaper, has had a recent update – to Version 1.2.0.
The big change in this update is support for Newsstand – the new ‘smart folder’ for newspaper and magazine iPad editions. This should provide automatic downloads of new issues in the background on iOS 5. In fact, according to the update details it should do both of these things:
Automatically downloads your daily issue in the background if device is running iOS 5
Faster time to working cover
It looks like iOS 5 – due to be released this fall and chock full of cool new features for the iPad and iOS – will offer a nicer way to organize our iPad (and iOS) newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
I initially thought it was a new app, like iBooks, when I heard it mentioned at the WWDC 2011 keynote today, but it’s just a rather special folder by the looks of it. There will also be a new place in the App Store just for newspaper and magazine subscriptions – and the Newsstand folder has a button that links straight to it.
The slickest feature of Newsstand is that it will automatically update titles in the background as new issues become available for them.
I’m a huge fan of iPad newspapers and magazines, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing this new feature when iOS 5 is released.
The App Store for the iPad and the iPhone has added several new featured sections, to aid in app discovery. I’m not sure exactly how new these are, but I’ve only just noticed them today – and I think they’re a very nice addition for the App Store.
The new sections include Newsstand, shown above, which showcases some of the leading newspaper, magazine, RSS reader and general news apps available for the iPad and iPhone. It’s a great section if you’re a news and reading apps junkie like I am.
There are quite a few other helpful new sections as well – hit the break for some more examples …