Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Digital publishing platform updates: Mag+ updates its Reviewer app, adds new design capabilities; Kobo-owned Aquafadas releases v. 2.6 update with ePUB3 features

Two important digital publishing system companies that use plug-in solutions today updated parts of their platform, adding features – and updating, in one case, their mobile and tablet app.

Mag+ today updated their Mag+ Reviewer app as part of a roll out of new features found in version 4.1 of the platform. (Reviewer apps are essential parts of digital publishing systems which allow the designer to review their digital publishing creations on their mobile or tablet devices.)

Here is what is new in Version 4.1:
  • Specific layouts for device orientation
  • Background colors for blocks
  • Media looping
  • Popup transitions
  • Popup Radio Groups
  • Pinch & Zoom and Panning Blocks
"This release is really about making Mag+ faster and easier to use for all our clients, and to expand the value of the platform to serve the needs of apps that fall outside of traditional publishing," said Mike Haney, chief creative officer at Mag+. "For instance, by turning off swiping and just using tap navigation to move around, suddenly you can create any content-based app using only InDesign."

Important new features include Dual Layout which allow designers to create different layouts for portrait and landscape orientations, important when laying out photographs; the ability to disable the scrubber (that navigation tool at the bottom of the tablet); Issue Control that allows a publisher to designate which issues are available in a paid subscription, allowing the publisher to create "super subscriptions" which might include special issues such as a Buyer's Guide or Annual Review issue.

Aquafadas, the French digital publishing platform company, which was recently bought out by Toronto-based Kobo, today released version 2.6 of its platform. Aquafadas, too, relies on a plug-in system and today's update involves ePUB 3 book publishing.

New features include the ability to create pop-ups, multimedia buttons for audio and video management, InDesign enhancements and "actions", the linking of words to actions such as "Go to Web" or "Go to Page".

New features in AVE, the company's app making platform, include next and previous buttons and new visual effects for page transitions.

Kobo today also announced that it had named Michael Tamblyn as Chief Content Officer, responsible for content acquisition and sales, publisher and industry relations, and localized merchandising experiences across all of Kobo’s online and mobile services.

"Michael Tamblyn’s leadership in the industry and his hands-on approach to working with publishers and authors has been instrumental to Kobo’s success. In his new role, he will continue to grow our existing catalogue and drive Kobo’s expansion into new content categories," said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo.