B2B publishers Hayward Medical and GIE Media update their digital edition apps
Hayward Medical Communications move iPad editions to new platform requiring readers to download their older issues again
The B2Bs Hayward Media Communications and GIE Media issued app updates for their portfolio of magazines found inside the Apple Newsstand. In the case of Hayward Medical, a UK publisher, the updates will force readers to download their older issues again as the publisher has moved to another platform.
The UK B2B publisher allows readers to download and access the digital issues free of charge within the app. Online, the issues are available to be downloaded in either PDF, ePUB or Kindle versions – but before readers can access those digital editions they must sign into their accounts. The iPad editions are native tablet editions, though they are similar to newspaper apps in that the layouts offered are limited in design.
I did not immediately recognize the new platform being used – maybe a TNM reader will instantly recognize it – but the app did crash for me at least once, most likely due to memory demands on my older 3rd generation iPad (I did not test it on my new iPad mini).
Both Hayward digital editions are designed to be read in landscape. One of the apps makes the mistake of creating a landscape app icon (British Journal of Renal Medicine). Landscape icons are generally associated with newspapers and so magazines, even when designed in landscape, should probably create a portrait icon (just my opinion, of course).
GIE Media, the Ohio based B2B, uses the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to create its digital editions (they are, in fact, featured on the Adobe website). The apps are, therefore, very much like what is seen in consumer magazines: hybrid editions where the print ads are identical to what is seen in print, while the editorial has been reformatted for digital devices. GIE Media has decided, as many publishers are doing, to make their apps universal, though the digital editions are really designed for tablet reading.
The designs are excellent, though I immediately noticed that the art directors are still struggling with terminology – using “swipe” when they really mean “scroll”, for instance.
Although two-page spreads suffer in this way of doing a digital edition, the ads nonetheless really pop compared to print. The designers should consider the idea of dropping the two-page spreads onto one page where the reader swipes to reveal the second half of the ad.
The updates for the landscape group of titles – Lawn & Landscape, Greenhouse Management, PCT – Pest Control Technology, GCI – Golf Course Industry and Garden Center – are minor updates brought on by updates in the Adobe platform.
Altogether, GIE Media has 25 apps inside the Apple App Store for the iPad, and the publisher has decided not to use the Newsstand for their apps, deciding to keep their titles as stand-alone apps.
The issue of what to do when changing platforms is becoming more important as time goes by, as many publishers begin to move from replica editions to native digital editions. In rare cases, publishers have chosen to create separate apps for their archived issues, others have chosen to simply launch a new apps and let the old issues become just a memory (angering many readers).
In the case of an app where the layouts are automated, converting older issues is not a major problem. Otherwise, the solution is probably to make the old issues available in the new app as replica editions, while only reformatting the newest issues for digital device owners.