Yet another news reader app has hit the app store this week, Apollo News, offering the next step in what they call the ‘future of newspapers’ or personalized digital editions. This company was founded and is run by some heavyweight coders from Google and Microsoft. It seems that everyone is rushing to crack the personalized news market. But is it really personalized news ?
The ‘Apollo News’ app is similar to existing iPad apps such as Pulse, the Huffington Post new app and early edition and they all seem to be similar in functionality to that of the BBC app.
The BBC app was one of the first apps that I downloaded and, forgiving the odd crash, I was hooked on it. While the BBC app doesn’t allow you the ability to personalize the news categories as yet, I would imagine that this is something that will appear in future releases. What it does offer you is the complete article without distraction or causing you to lose focus. You do not have to leave the app or load in the webpage to a viewer integrated inside the app like all of the above mentioned readers.
The key reason for this difference between the BBC’s ability to display only the article and these app having to display the full article within the content owners webpage is copyright. The BBC can display it however they want because the content within that digital edition is wholly owned by their organization whereas these apps are linking to content that is the intellectual property of another organization.
These applications are simply using the RSS feeds that are been pushed by the content owners websites . So in their rawest form, these apps are RSS readers.
Don’t get me wrong I am an avid users of all the mentioned readers but I am just curious as to why these apps are been promoted as the future of newspapers when they are only the medium on which the content is displayed. Much like paper in real world.
Digital content publishers will determine the future of newspapers as a newspaper is only worth the content it contains. When the BBC and other content portals start release apps that allow users to customize what content they wish to appear in their digital publications apps, only then will we see a new channel to market emerge for digital newspapers.