Time, Inc. officially calls it quits on TouchPad; Time, People, SI, and Fortune to go dark | webOS Nation

Time, Inc. officially calls it quits on TouchPad; Time, People, SI, and Fortune to go dark 48

by Derek Kessler Mon, 20 Feb 2012 7:10 pm EST

Time, Inc. officially calls it quits on TouchPad

If there's anybody close to as embarrassed as HP is by how things have gone with regards to the TouchPad, it's got to be the partners they dragged up on that stage at Think Beyond last year. One such partner was Time, Inc., with their then Chief Digital Officer Randall Rothenberg spending a good amount of time on stage talking about and demoing Time's new apps for the TouchPad.

Shortly after launch, apps for Time Magazine, People, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune all landed in the App Catalog, bringing the full magazines and a suite of interactive content plus online subscription options to TouchPad owners. Fast forward seven months and things have changed, with Time giving warning that they're pulling the plug on all four of their TouchPad apps. That means that the Time Magazine, People, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune apps are all due to go dark. The end-of-days date for these apps? March 10, less than three weeks from today.

Time plans to refund users for issues they won't be able to download, and we see no indication that Time's magazines won't be available through other channels (such as Zinio). For now the apps all work, but that won't be the case for long. We're guessing Time hasn't had the same uptake with their subscription service as other free news providers have had on the TouchPad. But that's okay, you'll still be able to use the Time app on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Bada. Wait, Bada? Really?



Guess this cancels any kind of positive spin was generated by the USA Today announcement last week...

I knew that something like this was going to happen sooner than later, with the WebOS platform. Developers seeing that HP seems to be slow, unresponsive to updates while offering services like iOS with their newsstand - could cause them to move forward with other platforms out there far more popular than the 5% of WebOS.

Yet Again, Thanks HP for all the mess that you caused(all these months) and still causing with your stubbornness of not pulling out new hardware to the masses which may cause developer to still around this falling platform. By deciding to stop creating tablets with WebOS and use Windows 8 platform instead, is the real reason that developers slowly are abandon WebOS. Well, looking at one point of view its quite nice that we been seeing HP pushing forth with the release of the codes for the open source-community, however its still not enough effort of HP for such a platform that Meg Whitman claims hasn't been given a chance to really shine. Get your head together HP, and support WebOS even further than just releasing it to the source community - launch the next-gen of WebOS 4.0 with even more features such cloud integration and voice search.

I guess that I'm wishing/dreaming too much out of HP....but really this kind of news stinks seeing that more developers are fleeing WebOS to instead with Apple's iOS.

lol... aww well this sucks. :\

Where are the torches and the pitchforks. Arrrrrr HP!

That really hurts. I was thinking about calling to tell them that I have paper subscription but I find it easier to read it on my touchpad and just ask to not send the paper but still keep the subscription. Oh well I guess I'm back to the old way. Or maybe they'll come up with html5 optimized web site. Regardless I'll make sure I have all the issues I can have on my TP before they pull the plug. It.s very nice app although it has few issues here and there.

I did not download it because Time is too politically slanted for my tastes, I am have always been an ESPN person, more of a WSJ fan than fortune, and never cared for People.

Now if CNN, ESPN, FOX, Discover Mag, Wired made one, I would get them.

It's about content.

Keep dreamin', dude. If they weren't on the Touchpad at launch, they sure as hell aren't coming now.

I've been reading Sports Illustrated and Time from when I got my Touchpad last summer and really enjoyed it.
I'm disappointed because I don't think it takes much effort to create a webOS version but it's moot now.
Guess I'll have to put Android on my Touchpad and read them that way. Sigh

the way i see it is that hp believed in webos so much that they abandoned it. so if webos own owner cant even be bothered with investing and producing hardware for its beloved os then why should any developer care and for that matter any other potential hardware developer... ....

The touchpad makes an awesome android tablet cm9 android - get all the apps you need.

once out of alpha, this is my plan. and as soon as my work offers a 4G phone, so long Pre2.

Is webOS still an active platform? This was just a matter of time, right? I mean, who would want to development on a platform with obsolete hardware with no plans for future hardware?

I thought the touchpad was a digital frame and ereader now. No?

The last one to leave, please shut off the lights and lock the door.

HP webOS: February 9, 2011 - August 18, 2011
HP Veer: May 15, 2011 - August 18, 2011 ( 96 days of life)
HP TouchPad: July 1, 2011 - August 18, 2011 ( 49 days of life)
HP Pre 3: DOA as of August 18, 2011

What a complete and utter waste of so much time & $$$ from consumers, developers, media, and partners (like Time Inc., Best Buy, ATT)

So long suckas

Actually, Pre 3, DBA (Dead Before Arrival)

Especially for Verizon customers

Good riddance! Their SI app was buggy as hell.

This sounds rather petulant; my wife and I never experienced a single problem with Time-Warner's applications (Time, SI, etc.).
And just what the community needs, people talking crap about those that did give webOS a chance. Awesome! That really gives potential new blood a lot of reassurance!

My initial reaction: "Ah FU*K!"
My sober, thoughtful reaction: "Can you blame them?"

p.s. My 92 YO father spent his entire working life with Time Inc. He just glowed with a sense of pride and awe when I showed him Time on the Touchpad. I won't be showing him my Touchpad once Time goes dark.

The only reason I subscribed to Time was because of their Touchpad app. I truly believe that viewing magazines on tablets is the future. I never even open the paper magazines. I guess I'll be cancelling now. Their content hasn't been great lately anyway...

The cancellation is just another reason why focusing on proprietary "apps" and DRM-encumbered formats is no viable way for you consumers to go long-term. The hands-on print issues? I can buy them where available and read them where i want, and as long as i want. and nobody can revoke them from my device. Having to use their "app"? See what's happening when you don't use devices that they have approved or seem worthy enough, from a marketable base point-of-view. (Same with video streams, but that's a problem for another day.)

Disclaimer: I do not oppose the usage of tablet or similar devices for reading etc, that is just one use case where they can (could) actually shine.

So, it's either in-browser or open-spec digital formats. Too bad webOS hasn't even a browser decent enough, that would make reading subscribed content on the respective website a joy.

"The cancellation is just another reason why focusing on proprietary "apps" and DRM-encumbered formats is no viable way for you consumers to go long-term"

BINGO! Same with on-device storage. You're just askin' to lose it.

Actually, this is more of a lesson about assuming that publishers will support a variety of platforms. You have a right to choose whatever platform you like but you shouldn't expect developers to bend over backwards to accommodate your desire to use a platform just because it exists. Proprietary apps are fine as long as you have an installed-base of hundreds of millions of devices.

The only reason why Time, Inc. developed an app for webOS is that they wanted to support non-Apple platforms. People around here, though, thought it was some kind of endorsement or sign that webOS was already a viable platform.

Believe it or not, Bada's actually higher in market share than the lower-tier mobile OSes. Thing is, that share is almost complete APAC (Asia-Pacific).

pff...How disappointing. I saw them in the APP CATALOG after receiveing my touchpad last week. Was so excited to download it , only to find out that it was going to be pulled out. ?!?!?

Same thing seems to be happening with the inpending GOOGLE + App ?

Im happy with my touchPad.

Hope it revives itself. This coming from a WP7 fanboy !

With a zero market share and small and declining userbase - the only real question is - who's next?

That is too bad, I got lucky and finally got my hands on a Touchpad. I was getting to surprise my wife with a digital copy of People and subscripe to SI. That sucks! leave it to Time Warner. They didn't know what to do with all thier stock pile of media, like movies and music when they were apart of AOL. They couldn't hold on for like six more month to see What the new open WebOS 1.0 would be like. I would probably would have gotten Time magzine too if I knew that one was in the app catalog.

Well I think we should all petion Time, Inc and have them extend their service for at least another 8 month.

"Well I think we should all petion Time, Inc and have them extend their service for at least another 8 month."

All 10 of you? ... just put CM9 ICS on it and never look back...

How hard is it to support the Touchpad? Don't they have to make other tablet versions anyway? And isn't it just one big PDF?

Or, HP can just throw some money at them. Protect your interests HP, and placate the webOS users. webOS is probably the best thing HP has even been associated with, so don't waste your chance.

I'm not sure how hard it is to support one platform but apparently it is too hard for them to bother. I used the time magazine app. It was unusable when the app first came out but eventually improved. But it remained horribly slow and the issue manager was odd. When it worked it looked great and had interactive features and videos that the paper version didn't have.
I hope time supports html 5 or crossplatform methods to push their content in the feature. That could be a way back on to webOS devices. Speaking of which I haven't checked out their web version before. Having a better browser like this Isis browser sounds like is the most feasible way to give touchpad and dwindling webos users a way to access current content.

Just like Be, os2, Amiga, and others that were best for even a brief moment in time. Try putting it into perspective. It's like webos is Ron Jeremy. Scratch that. Only one of them will still be getting work in 2 years. Sometimes size matters.

App wasnt even available for Europe so go figure if the subscriptions stalled after a while.

As the rest of the tablet world moves along at a rapid pace and consolidates around iOS and Android, the TP is going to look less and less adequate. The hardware may or may not stay intact but without support from major app developers there will be glaring gaps in utility. Most of these will not be replace by a web browser - not when most people are using native code with the fullest available feature set.

We are only beginning to see the consequences of the cancellation of webOS hardware. For a few months there was naturally some momentum with apps already in development being released. Now we are going to see the effects of app projects that were cancelled months ago and current apps that have been abandoned.

Open sourcing of webOS effectively puts the platform back to 2008 except there was actually hardware in the works in 2008, Android was only on one phone, Palm actually had pretty decent market share, the carriers were looking for an iPhone killer, and the iPad was just a dream.

The open sourcing of webOS is irrelevant without new hardware. Who is going to write Apps for a platform without any leadership or any real ecosystem. Yeah, I'm sure webOSInternals will do their best but they can't push the platform forward (who's going to pay for marketing?) - and who actually uses Preware except a few who take the time to figure it out?

Face it..the death spiral continues. Pretty embarassing that Bada is a more relevant mobile OS - altho it does probably have less lag than webOS.

I agree. The fat lady is singing, and it's a long song, but it is being sung nonetheless. It's just a long slow spiral as you point out.

Sorry to see this ecosystem go away, but once the decisions of last summer hit, these are just the inevitable results.

Yeah. Great. I'm fine with that. Why?

Well, first of all I'd like to say that there's not much of a change for us Europeans, anyway. And then there is this big Questionmark that pops up every time, when one of those "great and so special Apps" are going to die. Oh, and that word in front of it, of course, saying "Standard".

As long as there are "special Apps for special Devices" I'm not going to buy that stufff anyway. This is 2012 and not 1992. We _have_ Standards and there's absolutely no need to reproduce the epic failures from the past.

"Amen". ;) Too bad that in 2012 the commercial mobile space is still entrenched like it's 1992, and in short term it's not looking better. At least in the U.S. But this isn't even a surprise, giving that's actually one of the most restricted countries to live in.

Zinio does NOT carry Time Inc magazines, at least I couldn't find any, if anyone knows differently, please say so.

They do. Looked on their website and Sports Illustrated popped right up when you click the Sports category under "View All".

But yeah...when major partners start bailing ship, that kind of lets you know where the platform is going. Anybody remember all the endless Armageddon Squadron II demos......?

Only thing I saw was the South African version of last year's swimsuit issue.

Wow...seems you're right.

Technically, Derek didn't say they were on Zinio, but he should definitely clarify that these publications CURRENTLY are NOT available through any other means on webOS.

I agree with @jessicatapley .... When big devs leave your platfrom, you start to understand where the platform is.... webOS will have another chance as Open webOS, so lets all hope it doesn't miserably fail again like it has with Palm & HP

Please excuse my language, but God fucking damnit. This tablet is becoming more useless by the day. Regardless of how powerful the hardware is or how elegant of an OS it is. At least they will be refunding my ass.

I'm sorry, but did HP promise you Time, Inc. magazines like Sports Illustrated and People when they launched the TP in February of 2009?

Oh, they did? Never mind, then.


considering zinio...im not sure i get the big deal here.. I mean.. SI is def there.. including the swimsuit addition. go buy it.

The only SI on Zinio is the 2011 South African version of the swimsuit issue, it isn't the regular U.S. weekly edition.
One thing I like about the TP edition is being able to read it Wednesday morning, a day before I would get it in the mail.

that stinks... i usually show off the SI app to friends.

Meh you can just browse to the sites

I came to like the SI app. I bet USA Today isn't far behind. I thought I'd be content with my TP so long as it had that good content available. Soon it will be a glorified email slate and maybe web browser if enough devs keep that up to date. Hopefully Kindle books will still work.