Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New digital magazine from Spain suffers app and server issues that are bound to frustrate potential readers

Sometimes its good to be reminded that there are other decisions that go into selecting a digital publishing platform other than just whether it will produce a native tablet edition or a replica editions – things like server storage, download speeds, app library design and other factors can be just as important.

This new tablet edition from for Moto1 Magazine from 1mas1 ComunicaciĆ³n y GestiĆ³n SL is a good example. The screenshots show a native tablet edition designed to be read in landscape. The digital magazine is free of charge and should be a good reading experience but sadly I'll never know do to serious issues with the app.

The app, when installed, opens to a rather spare looking library page – clearly this app has not used one of the major digital publishing solutions (who knows, it might be completely native and was built right in Xcode). Tapping the download button the issue shows that the download will be 125 MB.

What followed was an almost comical attempt to get the digital issue to download. At first nothing happened, then after a while it started to download – at about 1 MB every ten minutes. Then it simply failed altogether. I never did get beyond 4 MB.

Ultimately it is possible that this tablet magazine will be excellent, but I'll never know, I've deleted the app, as a lot of readers frustrated with the experience may decide to do, as well.

This kind of thing happens, even with reputable vendors. One publisher told me that his experience with a large digital platform company, a replica maker, was so bad it forced him to rethink his entire digital publishing strategy. Generally the more well known companies have their back-end systems in good working order – he found, though, that this wasn't always the case.