Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gruner + Jahr release tablet edition for GEO; built using the Woodwing tools to create a stand-alone iPad app

The German publisher Gruner + Jahr has released a new tablet edition for its title GEO, a German language magazine similar to National Geographic. GEO Magazin, officially sold under the rather long name of GEO Zeitschriftengruppe © Gruner+Jahr AG & Co KG, is a stand alone app and is offering the January issue free of charge to entice readers (the February issue is also inside the new app). The new app sits beside the English language edition found inside the App Store which is a universal app and a replica edition, as well as other foreign language editions.

This new app, though, is the one you want to download (assuming you read German, of course).
 photo GEO-Jan-iPad-sm_zps3e678486.jpg
The app was built using WoodWing's Digital Publishing Tools and version 8 of WoodWing´s multi-channel publishing system Enterprise. WoodWing is crediting GEO's editors Rainer Droste and John K├╝ckens, and the art director Uta Maxin for the development of the app.

The digital editions are designed to be read in landscape, so you obviously are not getting a replica here. The January issue which I downloaded (OK, I was too cheap to buy that February issue) is filled with audio files that I assume explain the magnificent photography to be found within (see video below).

The issued weighed in at 300 MB, larger than many other digital magazines, but as large as many of the early iPad editions that used the Adobe DPS.

Since the app is selling single issues and subscriptions, the decision to not use the Newsstand was an interesting one. By being a stand-alone app issues will have to be downloaded manually, though with an interactive magazine of this size that may be the way to go. A stand-alone app also has some marketing advantages as the app icon is sitting there by itself.

Here is a brief walk-through video of parts of the January issue. The volume is a bit high, so be forewarned: