Apple announces Newsstand — direct line to news publishers from Apple

Scott Forstall took the stage today at WWDC to announce Apple’s new Newsstand app, a direct line to news publishers via the App Store. The app will give direct access to all your favorite news sources and magazines. It will feature background downloads, so whenever a user picks up their iPhone or iPad, they will have all of the latest issues of their favorite magazines waiting for them.

Perhaps most interestingly, however, is the way Newsstand is integrated into the iPad. Unlike iBooks, which currently presents its “Bookshelf” view only inside the app itself, Newsstand appears to present you with a complete bookshelf view when tapped. It works just like a folder on iOS, but instead of apps, you are presented with a beautiful bookshelf full of your favorite magazines and newspapers. The icons are the same size and style as those found in iBooks. This begs the obvious question — will iBooks get this type of interface as well?

The app will become the central hub through which all newspaper and magazine subscriptions and purchases are managed on the iPad, presumably replacing the plethora of different and specific newspaper and magazine apps currently in the App Store, becoming a one stop shop for all your subscription needs.

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