App Wrap: "Next Issue," "Punch! Culture Shelf"
YNN highlights the coolest and newest apps for your cell phone or mobile device in the twice-weekly segment “App Wrap.” YNN's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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It's no secret that magazines are struggling. They're struggling to both keep readers and get new readers, and a big part of the problem is not many have found home-run ways to draw people in with new digital versions designed for mobile devices.
Now, a few publishers have teamed up and trying one strategy the music industry and Hollywood have found successful, the so-called "all you can eat" model.
Five publishers are behind a new app called "Next Issue," which allows users to pay a monthly $9.99 fee and read all the magazines and newspapers on there that they would like. There are 32 at the moment and the titles vary from things like Time to Entertainment Weekly to Sports Illustrated to Popular Mechanics. Users can also just buy single editions or subscriptions to certain magazines.
Currently, "Next Issue" is available on only certain Android tablets for a $9.99 monthly subscription, or $14.99 a month to include certain weekly magazines like "People."
Developers are expected to submit the app for approval to Apple's app store within the next few weeks, though with tougher standards plus some competitive issues, it's no guarantee that submission will be approved.
Punch! Culture Shelf
For an offbeat way to have fun with current events and pop culture, this is Punch! Culture Shelf. Developers say it is built to act kind of like an interactive variety show. There are a bunch of headlines that serve up mini-games that allow users to delve deeper into the week's issues.
For example, sparked by the recent erratic behavior of a JetBlue pilot, one section allows users to click around a diagram of an airport to see a whole bunch of high-profile airline temper tantrums.
For kicking a guy when he's down, another game lets users dress up the conservative politician Rick Santorum in very non-conservative clothing for a former presidential candidate.
Another game lets users use an iPod for scrolling through music performances given by other country's heads of state.
"Punch! Culture Shelf" is right now an iPad-only app and it is free.