When Apple announced the ability of content providers to offer in-app purchases of their goods, newspapers and magazines breathed a small sigh of relief. ?The Internet age has left traditional print a bit in the dust.
Over the recent weeks I have noticed several old-school publishers, The Economist in particular, offering their magazine to subscribers as iOS application. ?A user grabs the app from the Apple App Store and when running it they can purchase a single issue or become a subscriber right while in the app. ?How convenient is this? ?I love it.
The issue is downloaded to the iOS device for later consumption. ? Here is the kicker, it appears to be downloaded and probably most of the content is, ?but the cord is not cut back to the mothership. ?I received this email today:
Interesting..I may be unable to access The Economist on iPhone and iPad. ?Why should this be? ?If I downloaded the issue to my iPad I should be able to read the purchased content regardless of their backend.
Maybe they embed some analytics, make calls to a server or display ads served from their servers, but that should not render my reading experience useless. ?I should be able to be in the most remote part of the world, or on a plane for that matter, devoid of WiFi or cell service and be able to read my copy of The Economist without issue on my iPad.
If mobile applications offering content to me aren’t going to be able to function without Internet connectivity, they are going to fail. ?I would not buy a subscription or a single issue if I can’t acquire the content and have no further obligation from the publisher.
I see no legitimate reason I should be required to have a connection to view my purchased content, from any application, any time or place.