Monday, March 11, 2013

New tablet editions from Australia: Reddo Media native tablet editions shine, while large publisher NewsLifeMedia releases replica for 'Delicious'

Quite a number of new tablet editions from Australian magazine publishers have been released lately in Apple's Newsstand including two new app built by Reddo Media for its publishing clients.

It turns out that TNM has looked at an app from Reddo Media before, the native tablet edition of Culture, a hair fashion magazine.

Unlike some international versions of Apple's Newsstand, the Australian store is not dominated by U.S. titles – in fact, the only U.S title to crack the top ten free Newsstand apps is Meredith's Better Homes and Gardens. Heading the list this morning is Coles Magazine, from the supermarket of the same name. That app was built using the Oomph platform (see original TNM post here).

Reddo Media uses the Adobe DPS platform to build its tablet editions, and its app for RUSSH Magazine has received a ridiculous number of 5-star reviews inside the Australian App Store (and only one 1-star review, most likely from a magazine competitor). You can see the latest edition of RUSSH via the walk-through video below.

Just released last week into the Newsstand are Smarter Business Ideas and Encore.

Smarter Business Ideas is one of Australia’s largest circulation business magazines, distributed to oter 300,000 small and medium business owners by Bauer Media for its custom publishing client Telstra Business. Encore, on the other hand, is a bit of a redo, or encore, if you like (couldn't help myself): a new app that replaces a previously released one. The first app was a companion to the monthly print magazine. But the new app, now developed by Reddo Media, is a free weekly digital-only magazine. Encore comes from the publisher Focal Attractions.

"Without the need to replicate or enhance a print edition, the new Encore is able to embrace all of the possibilities of tablet publishing," the Reddo Media website says of the new app.

Not all the new tablet editions released by Australian publishers are going to be natively designed tablet editions, of course. Like publishers everywhere, there is an urge to cut corners and release a replica edition.

News Lfe Media Pty has just launched a first tablet edition for its title delicious. (with the period at the end). The app of the same name appears to be a replica edition and is priced at a rate that pretty much guarantees a few negative reviews.

But News Life Media is not releasing only replicas as its tablet edition for donna hay magazine is an interactive tablet edition that has gotten good marks (other than some complaint about crashes) and is currently ranked fourth under Top Free Apps inside the Australian Newsstand category.

News Life Media also released a replica-like tab edition* for Sunday Style but is receiving very predictable negative reviews: "my only real issue is that the text is tiny and hard to read on the iPad screen," writes one early review inside the Australian App Store. "And no zoom option??? Please rethink font size for the next and future issues - don't cram it all onto page in tiny text, spread it out a little (we're paying extra to read now, don't have us strain out eyes on a Sunday morning!)."

*Because of the high prices set by News Life Media I did not buy these magazines, so can not tell for sure if they are replica editions or hybrid editions that have been poorly designed for the iPad – I am very much depending on the screenshots and the reaction from readers.