Monday, March 25, 2013

VRWAY launches new digital travel magazine into the Apple Newsstand featuring its panorama photography

Unique travel magazines seem to be a bit of a specialty for the iOS platform, with the best known example probably being TRVL, the iPad digital magazine from the Dutch publisher now going by the name of its digital publishing platform, Prss Inc. That single iPad app now contains 97 single issues inside it.

Today VRWAY Communication has released another unique digital magazine for the iPad, ArounderMag. Its name gives you a clue to what you will find inside: VR (virtual reality) photography of a specific travel destination. The first issue is on Lugano, Switzerland, a place I would personally like to visit, not only for its beauty, but because each summer it hosts a killer jazz festival. (Lugano also happens to be the home of VRWAY Communication.)

ArounderMag is not only unique because of its use of panorama photography, but because it is an app that lets the reader choose between English, Italian or Chinese language content.

The publisher of this new tablet magazine is an interesting company. VRWAY worked with Apple in 2000 to create a what the company's website calls "the largest VR database-driven website on the Internet." Later the company launched an online magazine VRMag for its VR photography.

A couple years later came the Arounder website, a site that offers its contents in three languages (you can guess which ones they are, right?). So creating a digital magazine for the iPad, seen looking at the company's past efforts, seems like a natural progression of their media work.

The app is free of charge, as is the contents. The first issue weighs in at 271MB. The digital magazine is to be read in landscape only, which makes sense considering the type of photography inside the magazine.

Upcoming issues will feature Shanghai, Milan, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, and Paris. But looking at the website for Arounder one can see that the publisher has plenty of photography in-house to work with. All they will need now is the editorial material.

Here is a brief walk-through video of the app. Once again, there is a little bit of "stickiness" to some of the video which reflects the video capture software rather than the reading experience of the app itself, which was smooth (though the app did crash upon initially being opened, but this did not repeat itself).