April 8, 2014 Last Updated 1:10 pm

B2B: New tablet edition from McGraw-Hill for ArchRecord; a look at other new trade mag apps

Last month McGraw-Hill Financial released its first digital editions for its weekly construction title Engineering News-Record (see original TNM post here). The app used the Mag+ platform to create its digital editions. The assumption was that a digital edition for Architectural Record would soon follow – and indeed it has.

ArchRecord-iPad-coverArchRecord’s new universal Newsstand app is called Architectural Record Digital Edition and follows the same pattern as the app for ENR.

ArchRecord has an incredibly rich and interesting history. In the mid nineties, when I was publishing a transportation construction magazine, ArchRecord was a poor third to Architecture magazine, which at the time was the official magazine of the American Institute of Architects. The second place magazine was Progressive Architecture, owned by Penton. My former boss at McGraw-Hill was tasked with turning things around and immediately saw the problem: whoever was the official AIA magazine had a huge advantage, and being the third magazine in the market meant picking up scrapes.

ArchRecord-spreadSo, calculating what the AIA endorsement meant, McGraw-Hill went after the AIA contract aggressively and won it, leaving both Architecture and Progressive Architecture in a precarious position: one was going from the leading magazine to a secondary position, while the other would find itself in third place. The result was that Progressive Architecture was sold in 1996 to the owner of Architecture, leaving ArchRecord to be the number one magazine in a two book field. Eventually Hanley Wood purchased Architecture magazine, closed it, and replaced it with a new title Architect. Today, Architect is the official magazine of the AIA.

As for the new app, ArchRecord has created a replica edition using Mag+, something few other publishers have chosen to do. The digital edition only works in portrait, which makes little sense since so many of the ads in the latest issue are two-page spreads. As a result, the ads are not seen properly. As for the editorial pages, they are not reformatted for the iPad (or iPhone) and so are short of full size (even the cover).

Despite this, the digital edition weighs in at 957 MB, mainly because of retina display support for a 190 page issue. Ultimately, it is the worst of both worlds – a replica with a large file size (and, as a result, the issue download was horribly slow). ArchRecord will be charging $9.99 for single issues, and offering an annual subscription priced at $19.99. Print subscribers can sign into their account to access the digital editions for no additional charge.


RestCatering-iPad-coverRestaurant & Catering Australia magazine comes from Engage Publishing. The app comes from Picsean Media, which is where the link in the app description goes, though the app does appear under the publisher’s own developer account.

The digital edition for Restaurant & Catering is almost the exact opposite of that of McGraw-Hill’s new app: the digital edition can be read in both portrait and landscape, and the editorial has been reformatted for delivering a native tablet experience (the app is not universal, but for the iPad only).

RestCatering-articleOne would call the digital issues a hybrid edition as the ads are not reformatted for the iPad (and so look best when the reader uses the portrait orientation) while the editorial is natively designed. The advertising does include links, however, and the publisher has added a little icon saying “tap here” to encourage readers to go to the advertiser’s website.

The one issue inside the new Newsstand app is free to download and contains a simply animated cover which just takes the cover photo, animates it and adds a little music. One thing that seems to be missing was the staff box, preventing me from crediting the editor and designer for the fine job they did here (unless I simply missed it).

Restaurant & Catering is the official magazine of Restaurant & Catering Australia. The publisher, Engage Publishing, also has three other titles in the Newsstand: Vet Practice magazine, released just last month, Rendez vous en France, which looks to have been designed in landscape if its screenshots are to be believed, and Bite Magazine, a dental magazine and which is the oldest app of the group in the Newsstand, having been released a little over a year ago.

More new B2B magazine apps ➡

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