Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New indy tablet magazines: Cuttings, a 'digital anthology of new Australian writing'; blogger Rolf Magener launches 'Overland Travel Mag' using the MagCast platform

It is always exciting to see the work of new publishers as they emerge. Thanks to the Newsstand, new magazines are launching weekly, despite what out trade press is reporting.

A new literary magazine has launched from Australia, CUTTINGS is the work of The Nest is being published under the imprint Branches Publishing. Inside the new Newsstand app one will find 'Issue Zero', the new way many publishers are labeling their prototype issues. Both the app and its content are free.
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While this may be the first app to appear under the developer account name of The Nest Agency Pty Ltd, it is not their first app released into the App Store – that would be Sydney Festival 2013 Guide, a stand-alone app designed to support the three week festival in the Australian city that took place in January.

A third app, and the second under the Branches name, will be launched for another publisher, Currency Press, and looks quite promising. "The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll iPad app will be a first in Australian publishing – a fully interactive version of Ray Lawler’s pioneering 1955 play," the developer's website says.

As for CUTTINGS, this is a natively designed app that is beautifully put together and will, one hopes, find its readers.
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Another new indy tablet magazine, Overland Travel Mag also appeared in the last 24 hours in the Newsstand but rather than using a native digital publishing solution chose to use MagCast in order to build their app.

My iPad has always found these apps a bit buggy, and this one is no exception. The app constantly gives me a warning that my tablet has no Internet connection and therefore can not initiate a download. No, it's not the iPad, it's the app.

As a result, I can't tell you much about the new digital magazine, though if it is like others coming out of MagCast it will be single image pages, often designed specifically for the iPad's specs, but otherwise look a lot like a replica edition. These types of solutions are certainly better than a replica, where the designer originally built the page for print, but the digital magazine usually feels like it would be more at home on a Kindle than an iPad.

This particular digital magazine is the product of Rolf Magener who maintains the Overland website and blog. Maybe I will be able to circle back to this one once the bugs are worked out.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your recommendation. I downloaded the mag after reading your article.

I found the magazine really well put together and the app works perfectly on the iPad.

I did not experienced any problems launching the app, subscribing to the magazine and downloading the magazine issue.

The publisher did a great job with the magazine. The first issue includes great articles on traveling to Asia, beautiful photos and the use of the iPad allows them to include videos which makes the mag come to life.