MagDesigner has a new home!

July 4, 2010

New home for MagDesigner.net

If you’re reading this, then you shouldn’t be. You see, this here blog is now old hat. It has been magically turned into www.MagDesigner.net

It’s bigger, better and a lot more blue. There are all the usual news stories and eMag round ups, but now the with the edition of platform reviews, eMag reviews, glossary and features with lots more content coming over the months.

It really is your one stop shop for all things to do with digital magazines.

This WordPress blog will more than likely be ignored from now on (you’ve been good to me though…)

So, get yer ass over there, bookmark it, subscribe, get rss feeds and remember to tell your friends about!

Click HERE!

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Dennis Publishing “Close” iMotor

February 22, 2010

In a rather sad move Dennis Publishing today announced the closure of its eMag – iMotor. Well, maybe closure isn’t the right word, as iMotor will continue to publish “sponsored editions, that coincide with major launches or significant motoring events and shows”. It seems they are staying away from using the word “close” since it was such a popular brand and still has some legs, or wheels left on it.

Launched 24 issues ago shortly after the launch of iGizmo, iMotor made a big impact on both the motoring market and the eMag market. Becoming instantly loved by a shed load of readers iMotor was chock full of awesome interactivity; with games, quizzes excellent video reviews and a whole host of great digital content that no other consumer title could even think about competing against. iMotor was an excellent example of how an eMag should be made and it’s such a shame that it has closed before the masses took notice of it.

It’s decline has been put down to a “downturn in the motoring industry as a whole but we have also found it hard to convince manufacturers to make full use of the creative environment that a digital magazine offers” says Pete Wootton, MD of Dennis Interactive. This is a problem that all consumer eMag publishers face but it’s not all doom and gloom, the two other Dennis eMags Monkey and iGizmo have proven hugely successful as have the multitude of contract titles that have come from within the Dennis walls.

So it’s the end of an era for one title, but the birth of a new one as more and more people take to digital publishing and iPad magazines.

Check out the current, and last issue of iMOTOR


Wired iPad Magazine video thing

February 17, 2010

Following on from the story below, Adobe yesterday released the above video looking at their involvement with Condé Nast’s Wired magazine. I think this looks ace. Maybe not quite as slick as the Sports Illustrated demo seen last year but easily the best thing we’ve seen on the iPad.

Will Condé Nast roll all their titles out like this? I’d bet my last Rolo GQ will be released shortly after Wired and hopefully Vogue as well, it’s photography would look sweeeet on an iPad.

Interesting thing is it’s built by Adobe no doubt using Flash and then exported to iPad. But the good thing is Flash CS5 can also export to AIR, making it a viable eMag solution for other tablets and computers without the need for Flash browser support.

There are over 50 magazine titles already available for the iPad, and it’s not even on the market yet. There are also strong rumors that a dedicated iMagazine store may still be coming to the iPad after it’s launch and with it, a standard digital format for magazines (like .epub for books).

In the meantime Wired looks set to rule the iPad in terms of digital magazines. And that’s exactly what you’d expect from them, hats off to you.


www.wired.com


Steve Jobs still planning a magazine store?

February 5, 2010

Silicon Alley Insider has an interesting little piece up about Mr Jobs visiting the new York Times newsroom and dropping some heavy hints about an online magazine store being geared up.

Apparently a book store was at the top of his priorities, presumably because the Amazon Kindle and similar products are already out and about and selling like (expensive and crap) hot cakes.

Why Apple couldn’t release an iBook store and an iMagazine store at the same time is beyond me, hopefully it’s because they are working with publishers like Next Issue Media in order to produce and industry wide standard, like .ePubs are for books.

Guess we’ll find out sometime down the road…


What an iMag store could have looked like

February 1, 2010

The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a little article about what the iMag store could have done for the iPad. A mock up, courtesy of Bjørn Rybakken, creative director at Tangram Design in Oslo (seen above) adopts the same form as the iBook store. Simple and obvious it may be, but it also pisses me off that this just didn’t happen. An iMag store supported by iPad Apps as a platform could have helped make digital magazines as popular as eBooks.
Click the picture above to read the full story.


New York Times on the Apple iPad

January 29, 2010

The most interesting part for print publishers to come out of Apple’s iPad announcement is the above demo of the New York Times iPad Application. Considering the team had 3 weeks to design and build the App, I’m very impressed.

Synching to the iPhone seems like a very good idea, as does the text resize option and even the amount of columns per page. It’s also nice to see some video in there and updatable content. It will be very interesting to see their pricing structure for such a cool ‘ting. I haven’t bought a newspaper for a long time, but I’d subscribe to that.


Can Apple’s iPad save the publishing industry?

January 27, 2010

So it’s here. The Apple iPad has been unveiled and it is… well… a big iPhone really. But without the phone.

To sum it up in nice little bullet points:

16, 32 and 64GB versions
3G connectivity at an extra cost, but unrestricted.
9.7 inch LED screen
Built in speaker plus headphone socket
Microphone
0.5 inches thick
1Ghz A4 processor
Accelerometer
10 hour battery life
PDF viewer
Weigh 1.5 pounds

16 GB 32 GB 64 GB
Wi-Fi $499 $599 $699
Wi-Fi + 3G $629 $729 $829

The WiFi only models will go on sale in 60 days, the 3G models around 90 days. Possible UK release date of June / July.

Now the important stuff for publishers:

No Flash support
Apple launch iBook Store for book publishers only using the ePub standard format
A new version of the iPhone software development allows development of iPad apps (available now)

…which basically means if you want to publish a magazine on the iPad it needs to be done through the production and distribution of an Application available through the Apple App Store only. HTML 5 compatibility is unclear at this point.

Unfortunately because Apple don’t stream the keynote anymore you have to rely on other people accounts… Steve Jobs did demo an example of New York Times which, as far as I can tell works as an App but includes embedded video and is as interactive as your gonna get. As soon as the Keynote video goes up, we’ll know for sure.


The New York Times newspaper App for Apple’s iPad

So where does this leave Sports illustrated, Adobe Air and Next Issue Media’s standardised eMag format? Well, Adobe Air Apps won’t work on the iPad. It will work on the HP, Archos and Dell tablets. So do Next Issue Media ignore the iPad and concentrate on Adobe Air style eMags for PC based tablets. Do they change course and concentrate on iPad Apps only and ignore PC’s? Simply they now have to do both.

Apple haven’t really bought calm to the confusion of modern publishing. We were hoping for some swanky new standard, cross platform eMag wonder. What we got is the realisation that it won’t be that easy, at least not for a while yet. Instead we need to go back to last years motto “content is King”. What publishers need to do now is find a way of distributing content across multiple platforms; print, web, Flash based eMag, Adobe Air eMag, Podcasts, iPhone App and now iPad App, maybe even ePub books.

New York Times best sellers list on the iBook Store

And Adobe? Flash has been snubbed once again, whether it’s because it drains processor speed or because it makes an App store redundant remains uncertain. What it does mean though is that Flash will still be integral for other mediums such as tablet PCs. But also that Adobe need to cater for Apple Apps and CS5 Flash does exactly that. You can basically export directly to iPhone App and to Air and to SWF within seconds. Flash will still be an indispensable tool for publishers.

So over the next few days we’ll gauge reaction of industry folk, consumers and publishers. We’ll see the tablet in action once Apple release the keynote speech for viewing and hopefully we’ll get UK release details soon.