The Race to Become the Digital Newstand
With the introduction of Honeycomb, Android’s OS for tablets, the race to become the digital newstand of the tablet market is on. The current juggernaut of tablets, the iPad, offers no straight up subscription models for any of its titles; if you want to download Time, you’ll have to download a different issue each week at $4.99 a pop. Publishers are wary of giving either Apple or Google a cut, and are wont of getting distributors to agree to their onerous terms. Before jumping in bed with Apple or Google, some publishers have demand ed access to users’ personal information for marketing purposes. So far, Apple has refused to allow an opt-out only option, but Google has made itself more attractive by being more flexible with publishers’ demand s and offering to take less of a cut. Whatever the case, the race is certainly on.
“Facebook” for iPad
For whatever reasons, Facebook has refused to develop a native application for iPad users, with Zuckerberg defending Facebook’s actions by saying the iPad isn’t mobile. While that doesn’t give Facebook a get out of jail free card other developers have picked up the slack, specifically Loytr with their Facepad application. Essentially a redesigned version of touch.facebook.com Facepad offers a nice tablet optimized alternative to accessing the site via Safari. While it’s still no native app, Loytr hopes to add many features with the impending update such navigation gestures and window overlays for chat.