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Apple launches iOS 11 and deals a final blow to digital edition apps

Apple has eliminated the subcategories for publisher’s digital edition apps, and put the emphasis on the apps Apple wants to promote, or publishers are willing to pay to have promoted

It would have been hard to make the Apple App Store less useful for media app developers, but somehow, miraculously, Apple found a way to do it with the release of iOS 11.

The App Store has been a mess for a long time now, about four years actually.

To recap: in November 2011, Apple launched the Newsstand, its digital newsstand for publishers. It was an immediate hit with both readers and publishers, and everyone rushed in with an app. App vendors proliferated, many offering publishers a way to get their magazines or newspapers into the App Store for free, so long as they shared revenue with the vendors.

Some started to see a big problem pretty early on: readers who signed up for a monthly subscription, often to get a discount on a single issue, cancelled when given the chance each month when notified by Apple.

Apple, too, saw a problem: they are a multi-billion dollar company, and selling newspapers and magazines is penny-ante stuff. By 2013, Apple had simple quit on their publishing partners, and soon the App Store team stopped maintaining the subcategories — so important to publishers.

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