October 9, 2014 Last Updated 3:07 pm

First look: UWS GradLife, a new digital edition from the University of Western Sydney

New Apple Newsstand app offers ‘a new way to connect with your University’

If you read my ‘Morning Brief” report you know that I was disappointed to see that few, or any, newspapers or magazines sent their design professionals to Adobe MAX (which just concluded in Los Angeles yesterday). Instead, there were nearly 6,000 other design pros attending to learn more about Adobe DPS, or Premiere Pro, or whatever.

UWS-iPhone5-lgOne segment that was very much represented was institutional publishing – schools, universities, government and other institutions which are now moving aggressively into digital publishing. Reasons given were costs, of course, but also the ability to reach out beyond their mailing lists to reach new readers.

While looking for new digital publications today I found UWS GradLife, the first Newsstand app from the University of Western Sydney.

“Designed by and for alumni, the UWS GradLife app provides users with the latest news and events, and gives you a new and interactive way to connect with fellow graduates,” the app description states. Like other alumni magazines, the app offers the issues free of charge.

The digital edition of the magazine appears to have been designed for the iPad, with a conversation done for the iPhone. Sadly, I could not get the iPad version to work, but the app and one issue I downloaded worked just fine on the iPhone. The iPhone edition was designed is such a way as to make it readable on an iPhone 4.

Like many others releasing their first digital editions, UWS GradLife appears to only be available on Apple’s platform – or at least, on iOS first.

Brands and institutions are likely to be the leaders in driving new digital publishing efforts. Not only do they not have to generate a profit from their publishing efforts, they are also committed to staying on top of new developments in digital publishing.

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