Issuu launches new Android app into the Google Play app store

The Palo Alto-based online digital publishing platform Issuu announced the release of a new Android app available through the Google Play store. The app gives Android users access to the magazines and catalogs that use the flipbook maker to distribute their magazines to readers online.

Issuu was founded in Denmark in 2006, and last year opened offices in Palo Alto when it appointed a new CEO, Joe Hyrkin, formerly of Reverb, Trinity Ventures and Yahoo. The company is backed by Sunstone Capital.

unnamed“Today for the first time Issuu readers can carry 15 million magazines on their favorite Android device and discover content from hundreds of thousands of global publishers,” Hyrkin said in the company’s announcement. “The new app was designed from the pixels up to offer the world’s best mobile reading experience. And, with the massive depth and breadth of content on Issuu there is something for the enthusiast in everyone.”

Despite its large base of magazine customers – the company claims 15 million magazines – the company is swimming upstream. Most magazines have moved away from online flipbooks, which research shows readers rate last among digital reading preferences, and moved to apps – either replica editions or native. What to do with this large inventory of online flipbooks. Creating a reading app to display these flipbooks is obviously one solution, something Zinio did back in 2010. The problem, of course, as Zinio discovered, is that magazine publishers want to extend their brands, so they eventually began launching their own branded apps rather than being satisfied with sitting inside someone else’s app.

The press release announcing the new app actually doesn’t mention what is new about the Android app, which is now at version 2.0. Reader reviews inside the Google Play store were pretty negative about the old app, complaining about blurry pages and bugs with the old app, so maybe the new app improves the resolution of the digital replicas and performs more reliably than the old app – we’ll see once the reader reviews start coming in.