Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Exhibit A. On Why iOS 5 Newstand Apps Should Always Be Universal

I've had the New York Times app on my iPad since Newstand launched alongside iOS 5. I don't read the content, it's just not part of my workflow. What I love however are the notifications of important events just for having the app installed. The editorial selection is perfect, so I downloaded the NY Times app to my iPhone to get the notifications there as well.

I didn't realize what I downloaded on the iPhone was not a universal app. Imagine my surprise when I got back to my iPad & through the magic of App Store automatic downloads it appears I now have two NY Times!

When the iPad first came out, I would've agreed it was acceptable to ship separate apps for one actual app to pay for the cost of adding iPad features. No more. A universal app is really just table stakes at this point  There's no user experience case to be made for shipping separate iPhone & iPad apps. Multiple apps for the same app just creates user confusion on the App Store, and in cases like this, on the device as well.

And it just looks really dumb in Newstand!