Monday, June 18, 2012

Tablet edition for Bloomberg Markets: native app takes unique approach to portrait/landscape layout dilemma

Most magazine publishers, in order to save production time and limit file size, have decided to create their new tablet editions with only portrait page layouts. Today, however, Bloomberg has launched a first tablet edition for its title, Bloomberg Markets, that takes a different approach.
Rather than recomposing the editorial pages for landscape, Bloomberg Markets+, simply lets them flow inside the landscape page unchanged. Amazingly, the approach works fine.

The beauty of the solution is that if, like me, you prefer to read in landscape, you can. One could argue that a lot of real estate is wasted, and it is, but since the page layouts are designed specifically for the tablet, the reading experience is just fine - no need for pinch-to-zoom like a replica.

I believe the Bloomberg team is using the Mag+ platform to create their new tablet edition. But whatever solution it might be, the native approach leads to a very enjoyable read in whatever orientation one chooses.

The ads, it should be pointed out, are reformatted to take advantage of both portrait and landscape.

Despite the dual orientations, the file size of the latest issue available inside the app is only 143 MB. The download is fairly quick, making it a reasonable download for business travelers looking to load a magazine before a flight.

The new app allows print subscribers to access the digital ads for free, while offering new digital subscribers two options – $2.99 per month or $29.99 for an annual subscription. Annual subscribers get an extra month for free – and that price and that offer is exactly what Bloomberg is promoting for new print subscriptions, as well.

This wise approach to pricing and digital access will most likely lead to very positive reviews inside the App Store as both existing and new readers know they are getting a square deal, as well as a good new tablet edition.