Tired of reading and sorting through all of your magazines on paper? Yahoo wants to make things easier for you. The company announced Yahoo Livestand, a platform that will provide users with "a digital newsstand that's always fresh and effortlessly personalized."
Livestand will initially be made available for tablet computers like the Apple iPad, and then will be rolled out for smartphones and Web browsers.
Like a magazine newsstand that travels with you, Livestand will pull up fresh content for users depending on where they are and what time of day they access the application. It will be customized and personalized for each user, delivering what Yahoo Chief Product Officer Blake Irving called "a pipeline of fresh and active content for publishers and advertisers."
The advertising portion of Livestand is critical, not just for the application itself but for cash-strapped magazines with a failing print advertising model, said Irving. "We see tablets as a catalyst that will allow ad dollars to shift from TV and print to interactive."
According to a report from Wired, users opening the Livestand application will find "a mix of content from Yahoo, including its popular news, sports, finance and celebrity sites, as well as content from other media companies that also decide to publish on the platform, such as Surfer magazine." Users will be able to personalize their news preferences, selecting topics such as sports or international news, and the app will further personalize the stories it pushes to you based on what you've read in the past, similar to what Yahoo.com already does with its home page.
News Corp. recently announced a similar application called The Daily, a digital newspaper for the iPad that will cost 99 cents a week and be updated once a day. Several other magazines, including Wired and The New Yorker, have their own proprietary apps that deliver content from one magazine at a time. There are also services like Flipboard that create magazine-like experiences by pulling from multiple RSS feeds or Twitter, but Irving called them "a shallow experience."
Livestand is expected to be released in the first half of this year.
Meanwhile, in other tablet news, rumors of a planned fall release of the Apple iPad 3 hit the Web like wildfire this week — even though the iPad 2 doesn't have an official release date yet. According to eWeek, the rumors started over at the sites Daring Fireball and Tech Crunch, where bloggers posted a "theory" about the pending iPad 3. The rumor was picked up by the Washington Post and quickly became a trending Google News topic. But PC Magazine may have the as-definitive-as-you-can-get take on the matter: "Is the iPad 2 coming soon? Probably. Is iPad 3 coming this fall? So far, only on the word of two bloggers."