Friday, May 13, 2011

СТРАТЕГИИ: Ukrainian business magazine, Strategy, releases iPad app that uses simple, native tablet layouts

As many web readers know, Google has had a monumental meltdown of its Blogger system. Many stories that were posted on Wednesday and Thursday of this week have apparently been lost. I have tried to retrieve some of them thanks to TNM's iPhone app (lots of copy and paste), but some will just have to stay lost, I guess. I thought this one interesting enough to repost at the top of the website.

One advantage to looking at foreign media applications is that one is not distracted by the actual content, I suppose. In the case of this magazine app, СТРАТЕГИИ на IPAD (Strategy for iPad), the lesson here is how deep the new tablet platform has reached in such a short time.
Who knows how many people own iPads in the Ukraine, there is no official Apple dealer in the country according to one source I read. But now the country has at least one iPad magazine app!

The free app also gives you free access to the one issue found inside the library. Weighing in at only 18 MB, the download was very quick, but the app surprisingly does give you both portrait and landscape orientations. And while the app does contain some multimedia content, it is really a very simply assembled app – and yet I bet Ukrainian readers will appreciate the end product.
Strategy – I won't continue to use the Cyrillic in case your browser can't handle it – is a Russian language business monthly magazine. Its website translates very easily using Google's Chrome browser.

(I use Chrome a lot since I often find myself on foreign language websites. Otherwise, it is Safari.)

The tablet version uses the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite and was developed by Adobe's partner in Russia, Terem Media, which has three other tablet apps in the App Store at this time. The app is being sold under the Terem Media name, though the support page does take you to the Strategy website where there is a nice support page, complete with a "User's Manual".
I noticed one very, very minor programming error, but otherwise the app was very easy to navigate, despite the language barrier. It goes to show you that app navigation is becoming fairly standard.
Of course, I know of a few developers who might consider this tablet edition a bit boring, programming-wise. I understand that and certainly sympathize with that point-of-view. But then again most print magazines are pretty predictable, as well, aren't they?

Quite a number of publishers, or would-be publishers have complained to me about the enormous costs associated with using the Adobe tools. In Eastern Europe, at least, there is a digital publishing partner that can help. But for those of us here in the US seeking affordable, easy to use tablet publishing production tools remains a top priority.