November 13, 2014 Last Updated 1:19 pm

El País brings their supplements and magazines to the Apple Newsstand as tablet editions

First efforts for the Sunday magazine Babelia reveals design issues, but nothing that can not be improved upon in subsequent editions

The Spanish newspaper El País has launched its second digital magazine app into the Apple Newsstand. Babelia is one of several supplements the paper produces, this one appears in the Saturday edition of the paper and covers national and international literary news.

Babelia-coverEarlier the newspaper released a Newsstand app for El País Semanal, the paper’s Sunday magazine.

Both digital editions use the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to produce their Newsstand apps and tablet editions. Earlier today I downloaded both apps but could not access the issues as the app continued to give me an error message stating that the libraries could not be updated. But later today the issue cleared up and I was access the issues.

Babelia is designed in both portrait and landscape. The developers have chosen to show landscape pages inside the App Store, and I generally prefer landscape on my larger iPad. But portrait feels right for the iPad mini, as it would a Kindle, so it is nice to have a choice. But having both orientations usually means a larger download, but here the first issue of Babelia is only 48.4 MB in size.

Babelia-TOCBringing a paper’s sections to the Newsstand allows a paper to do other things with their main news tablet app. The NYT, for instance, makes sure all the content available to readers of the print paper can access the same content within their iPad app. The result, of course, is a one-size fits all approach that may not work for supplements and magazines.

Here, the newspaper’s designers have a new palette to work with and it looks like they will have to make adjustments. Some of the feature layouts simply do not work such as for the feature story “¿Es arte la gastronomía?” which features a tiny photo at the top and tons of white space below.

But the great thing about the new digital editions are that over time the designers will get more and more comfortable designing for the tablet platform and I’m sure we will see better work.

While the first edition inside the Newsstand app is free, older editions are priced at $0.99 (0,89 €) a piece. A one month subscription (four issues) is priced at $3.99 (3,59 €) while an annual subscription is $45.99 (40,99 €).

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