The publisher of the English language version of the B2B horticultural magazine HortiBiz, TuinbouwCommunicatie, has launched a first app edition into the Apple Newsstand. The universal app from the Dutch publisher is not so much a digital magazine as a tablet app that supports the Newsstand function – an odd and unique app solution.
HortiBiz Magazine appears under the developer account name of Martin de Lang, who has two other apps available, both of which are really mobile news apps. This new app looks more like a Kindle Edition than a digital magazine, with simple layouts and adjustable fonts.
It is an odd choice for the publisher seeing that the B2B title already has a Flash flipbook available. Generally, those publishers who employ flipbooks tend to also employ replica editions, as well.
The free digital product is said to be "an introduction to HortiBiz iMagazine (sic), the digital version of HortiBiz Magazine." That there is the full app description which tells you that the developer and publisher are pretty new at this app development business.
One company that has been around longer and should have more experience at launching app is Texterity, the company bought out last year by Godengo.
Two new replica editions have been released today that use the digital publishing platform, Buffalo Spree Magazine, the city magazine, and Sound & Picture, an app that is appearing under the name Trew Audio Nashville (which may own the magazine, though the publication's website is no help in identifying the publisher).
Both apps offer readers replica editions. The big problem I have with these apps is the fact that the app libraries claim to offer previews of the issues inside, but rather than offering the reader a few pages of the actual digital editions, it offers only thumbnails that can not be accessed. The result is that the reader has no idea just how difficult it will be to read these PDF versions of the print magazine, and will be most likely very disappointed once they have paid for an issue or a subscription.
The app description for Buffalo Spree is somewhat acceptable in that one sees the store page, the article TOC and the thumbnail page. But the app description for Sound & Picture contains only one screenshot – you'd expect better work than this from your vendor.