June 26, 2014 Last Updated 12:02 pm

Media 10 releases replica edition for its commercial architecture magazine OnOffice

New Newsstand app, built using Mag+, that contains two issues – one of which crashes app

The importance of testing apps and digital editions was reinforced while looking at the new Newsstand app for OnOffice Magazine from Media 10.

OnOffice-iPad-coverOnOffice is a UK magazine that covers the commercial architecture and design market. Its new Newsstand app was built using the Mag+ platform. The platform is capable of producing beautiful native tablet editions, but here is just used to produce a replica edition – or so it seems.

The reason that is some doubt is that I was only able to download the older issue of the two inside the app. After downloading the July issue the app immediately crashed upon attempting to open the issue.

Now that is not so odd. The iPad I generally use to look at new digital edition is my older third generation iPad – the reason is that it is important to know whether an app will work on older tablets. If so, then you know there should be no problem on newer versions.

I restarted my iPad to free the memory, one reason for crashes on older devices, but got the same result. I then loaded the app and the July issue on my new iPad mini and again the app crashed upon trying to open the issue.

OnOffice-iPad-editThe June issue opened just fine, however. But with a Mag+ built app I was expecting to see a native digital edition – or at least a hybrid edition, where the ads are as seen in print, but the editorial reformatted.

The page upon page of two-page spreads that have to span two separate iPad pages signified that this wasn’t a completely native digital edition, but the editorial pages revealed that it was simply a replica.

Worse, this is one of those apps that also give you an iPhone edition, as well. That there are publishers out there who think it is possible to read these replicas on a smartphone tells you that either they don’t look at the digital issues produced themselves, or else they carry around a magnifying glass with them at all times.

It is likely that the app was first tested with only the June issue inside, which is why it was released and passed Apple’s app team review. But the July issue needed to be test again, or else something happened between the creation of the Indesign files and the final output. But testing would be have been a good idea. Look for an update to follow.

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