November 18, 2014 Last Updated 11:18 am

Newsstand category update: New digital magazine releases into the Arts & Photography category show variety of approaches

University of Arizona uses the Apple and Google Play app stores to move their print publications to digital, releasing new native tablet edition for its alumni magazine

The Arts & Photography category remains one of the most active inside the Apple Newsstand with the most new releases, and the most variety to be seen. There are now 428 free magazine apps inside the category, an increase of 50 apps since mid-April of this year.

Of the latest new digital publications to appear, there are replica editions that are merely PDFs of print editions, natively designed digital magazines that use PDF-based platforms, and the more rare native digital magazine.

AmourFou-iPadThe newest release is Israeli Lens Magazine which is using the Magzter platform to create its Newsstand app. The design was created specifically for digital reading as the fonts are properly sized.

“For all my life, since I remember myself, I breathe art. The magic of colors, people from the past, fabrics, landscapes and life as it is shown from a different eye,” the editor Dafna Navarro writes in her introductory column.

While the magazine is using the Magzter platform to create its app, it is also using Joomag, Issue and the Kindle store to distribute the digital magazine, as well.

Amour Fou Magazine was released in late September and is using the Baker Framework to create its Apple Newsstand app. The look and feel is native, but some of the design work could be improved. For instance, the TOC contains text that is simply not readable on the iPad mini, as fit it had been designed on a full sized Mac then previewed on a large iPad. (This is why it is important for designers to have access to both size iPads when previewing their digital editions.)

But photography really pops on an iPad when the digital edition is natively designed, and Amour Fou is no exception.

Arizona-Alum-MagArizona Alumni Digital is probably misplaced inside the Arts & Photography category, but the magazine is probably the most interesting. Although just recounted, the app contains two issues – both designed in landscape, though the older issue was a portrait cover icon inside the library.

The app and the digital editions were built using the Mag+ platform, and while Mag+ will not give you a really large file the way the Adobe DPS tends to, it will be larger than the PDF-based apps, of course. But the first latest issue comes in just over 200MB, which is modest for a natively designed digital edition.

The app is also available inside the Google Play store – in fact, it seems to have made it through their review process a little quicker than it did the Apple review. The University of Arizona now has a dozen apps for the iPad inside the Apple App Store, including a couple other native magazine apps – but this is the only one now using the Newsstand. One of the stand-alone magazines is SkyView Magazine created for the school of journalism.

(For more information on Magzter, Baker Framework or Mag+, refer to the recently published Guide to Digital Publishing Platforms.)

Here is the introductory video used to give readers instructions on how to use the new app:

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