Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spanish gaming website zonaBlade.com launches a companion tablet-only magazine app: BLADE Magazine

One gets a sense that there is this group of individuals out there that have spent the last year playing around with iPad development, and in particular have started working with Adobe's suite of tools, or WoodWing, or some of the other digital publishing packages and are now ready to start launching their own tablet magazines – either just for the fun of it, or to actually try and launch their own new publishing businesses.
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You can see this in some of the new apps being launched like this new one called BLADE Magazine, for instance. The tablet-only magazine is the offspring of the Spanish gaming website zonaBlade.com.

I can't quite figure out if this is a side project of those involved here, or part of some bigger venture. The "Director de Blade Magazine" is José Manuel Artés, who is also Content Director at Grupo Intercom. Other members of the team are Issac Viana, editorial coordinator, Raul Pérez, editor, José Antonio Cabeza, editor, Javier Gutiérrez, graphics editor, and Juan Francisco Bellón Molina, art director.
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The app's "seller" is listed as Toni Mascaró, who I assume is the same person who runs the consulting firm eMascaró – but this is all a bit hard to track down due to my lack of Spanish language skills (typical American, right?) and the fact that no one is listed as the developer in the app or online.

In any case, I'm more impressed with the vision to actually launch the tablet magazine more than I am the magazine itself. The app looks like it was designed as a traditional magazine (the website will point you to a PDF version of the book) which then was ported to an iPad app using either Adobe or WoodWing tools. The app has the tell-tale signs of being designed this way from the text boxes and the navigation. The magazine is not a replica (after all, there is no print version) but it was designed almost as if it were coming from print, then multimedia was added in, and the copy flowed into iPad templates.
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The free app takes you to the library upon opening where you can download the premiere issue for free. It weighs in at around 361MB thanks to the embedded video and the fact that both portrait and landscape modes are utilized. An ad, seen at left, had copy in both orientations, as well.

The size of the download became a real problem were because three times the download stopped and gave me a warning that the server was not responding. There is a "resume" button that is supposed to restart the download but I found that this did not work. As a result I had to cancel the download and start over. I almost gave up, but on the fourth try the download was completed successfully.

While there are no reviews so far of the app inside either the US or Spanish App Stores, the website has gotten a few congratulatory comments on it.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Woah, I'm Spanish and that's really great. Thank you very much for your comprehensive review, I'm going to try it right now.