Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 Apps of Christmas: the Tribune Company uses Mag+ to launch tablet edition for its tabloid, Red Eye, in March

The Twelve Days of Christmas runs from Christmas Day to the evening of January 5th, or Twelfth Night. But TNM's 12 Apps of Christmas, which began on Tuesday, looks back at significant media apps released this year. Today we look at March, continuing the series through New Year's Eve.

March means a new iPad, or at least it does now-a-days. Back in 2010, when Steve Jobs introduced the first iPad, the launch took place at the beginning of April. In 2012, Apple had reduced the time between unveiling and launch so that the introduction of "the new iPad" took place on March 7, with pre-orders accepted that very same day, and delivery to take place on March 16.

The "new iPad" brought us the retina display, the concept of which Apple had introduced with the iPhone 4, and the tablet proved to be a major success.

In March Sporting News moved its tablet app into Apple's Newsstand, where it resides today. But later in the year the publication was forced to announce that it would end its print publication after 126 years.
Along those same lines, it is interesting to note that Nomad Editions in March issued major updates to its three digital magazines, changing platforms for their creation. Originally designed using Treesaver, Nomad Editions began using the Mag+ platform with this March update.

A tablet edition launched in March from the Tribune Company for its city tabloid RedEye also used the Mag+ platform. The digital edition was priced at $1.99 per month, and though one still doesn't quite know if it will be a success, it was an important launch nonetheless because it set up later launches for the company such as its Chicago Bears digital magazine.

The significance of the digital edition of RedEye is that the publication is produced Monday through Friday and so, along with the now defunct The Daily, was one of the few attempts at daily tablet publishing in a native, non-RSS driven way. Yes, RedEye has a print equivalent that drives the content and much of the design, but the digital iPad edition launched in March remains one of the few efforts at native tablet publication design produced on a daily basis.