Friday, November 4, 2011

Australian publisher Hardie Grant releases two free magazine iPad apps developed by Oomph

Australian publishing house Hardie Grant Publishing has released two new tablet editions during the past couple of weeks. Both iPad apps were developed Oomph, an Australian digital publishing platform company.

Oomph has its own app inside the App Store used for assisting in the creation of new apps – Oomph Reader. The Oomph site is not as helpful as the Mag+ site in understanding the details of app creation, but I've contacted the company and hope to learn more.
Both tablet editions that I downloaded were free – both the app and the content. Neither supported Newsstand, so the business model of these new apps is a little hard to understand.

But both apps are worth checking out: JH Wine Companion Magazine and Australia Unlimited.

The "JH" of the first app refers to James Halliday, the dean of Australian wine writers. I first became familiar with Mr. Halliday when his book, the 1985 edition of The Australian Wine Compendium, was included in a case of Australian wine I purchased. (I guess I've been of drinking age a long time.)

The other magazine, Australian Unlimited, is an interesting magazine that focuses on individual Australians, whether they are in business, the arts, or whatever.

I found the wine magazine easier to navigate because of the way it showed that an article contained multiple pages. As is becoming common, a reader scrolls to reach additional pages within an article, and swipes to move on to the next article.

While the app could be used in both portrait and landscape, it looks best in portrait as these tablet editions are a hybrid between replica editions and native design. Publishers looking at new examples of tablet publications for their own projects would be wise to check out these two new free magazine apps.