One of the most appreciated features by iPad users is the possibility to read books, magazines and newspapers. Practically all major publishers are in the App Store with apps dedicated to their products but there also many other minor publishers, in every country, that entered in the iOS world with one or more apps.
Today a publisher that wants to enter in the App Store with his own magazine has several decisions he needs to make. Some of these are:
- is it better to publish a specific app for the magazine or use a newsstand app as Zinio?
- in case we decide to use our own app, should we contact an iOS dev to have a tailored product or use a web-based service that provides us in short time with a standard app?
- should the magazine service be hosted by a third party or by the publisher itself?
- is it better to re-use existing PDF or make a completely new digital magazine (e.g. if you use the Adobe Digital Publishing suite)?
Of course all these decisions will have impact on development costs, web services hosting and maintenance and finally the magazine design flow.
The author of this post has gained some experience by developing and releasing on the App Store several magazines.This series of articles is based on the experience acquired by developing some custom magazine apps and will try to depict what is the architecture of an iPad magazine app starting from the building blocks and entering into the coding challenges occurring on these blocks. We hope that any developer that should have the chance to build an iPad app can take some benefit reading these articles.