Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mag+ releases its App SDK, opening up its system to developers for creating customized magazine apps

While there are those publishers looking for the simplest, straight forward tablet magazine solution, others would like to customize their digital products, adding features and elements limited only by their own imaginations. These digital publishers generally prefer digital publishing platforms that give them a native tablet experience – and now one of those platforms, Mag+, has opened up its SDK for developers.

"Digital publishing may still be the new kid on the block, but this industry is moving at light speed," sais Gregg Hano, CEO at Mag+.

"Customers and app users are getting ever more sophisticated in their requirements. We’re excited to extend the Mag+ offering with the app software development kit so any developer can take advantage of the Mag+ system, while creating the app of their dreams. We’re opening a new phase in digital content creation."

The SDK can be found on the Mag+ website here.

The move points out the need for media companies to be able to take advantage of developments such as this. Recruiting staff capable of software and app develop is, it seems to me, the same situation media companies found themselves in when they began hiring IT personnel back in the early days of desktop publishing, front end systems, and the early days of web publishing. A company can outsource this but they are immediately limiting themselves.

Here are some of the examples of how Mag+ sees developers taking advantage of the SDK release:
Customized Magazine Apps
With the Mag+ SDK, publishers are no longer locked into a specific set of app features and user experiences. Now they can create a unique magazine or newspaper app fully aligned with their brand, while making use of proven, best-in-class components. They can customize the menu and navigation, build their own storefront, even add their own choice of analytics or social sharing services.

Music and Movie Apps
Next-generation liner notes! With Mag+’s support for simple embedding of video and our industry-unique built-in music playlist, artists and studios can now easily create apps that deliver more than just an album or movie. They can add premium content like lyrics, video clips, behind-the-scenes content, and audience interaction in a completely unique branded app.

E-commerce
Retailers can now create catalog apps that tie directly into their e-commerce system and present the shopping experience that’s right for their clients while designing beautiful pages using the Mag+ creative tools.

Super Apps
The SDK allows developers to easily embed Mag+ functionality into another app. So a brand could offer a single app that has shopping, games, tools and a magazine. Or existing apps can be augmented with a premium content channel, deepening the value of the app and the connection with the user.
"The best part of my job," wrote Hano on the company's website, "is seeing what people do with our tools—now there’s a whole new realm of things people can create that builds on top of what we’ve been building the past 2.5 years—in this case, specifically on the new codebase we introduced in 4.0, which allowed us to neatly organize the app so we could break out particular pieces like the MIB reader and Connect component."

"I love that it continues the Mag+ philosophy of openness, creativity and experimentation. I can’t wait to see what you all do with it," Hano said.

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