February 20, 2015 Last Updated 12:00 pm

BET Networks releases beautiful app in support of its mini-series The Book of Negroes

Interactive app, released into both the Apple App Store and Google Play, is a companion piece for the new series premiering this month, based on the novel by Lawrence Hill

The book app is a format with infinite possibilities. The app can stretch the possibilities of the book endlessly and, in the end, is its own thing – something more than just a book, and more than a simple app.

Book-BET-coverThis is why it was so disappointing to learn that Adobe would be discontinuing the free Single Edition app solution for Creative Cloud members. But that move will not end the book app, not by a long shot.

The Book of Negroes Historical Guide is a beautiful new app released this week by BET Networks. The app was launched into the Entertainment category of both the Apple App Store and Google Play, and does not claim to be an eBook app at all, but is similar in many ways to some of the apps created by eBook makers, even breaking itself up into “chapters”.

One can imagine creating some similar with iBooks Author, though this app is more powerful in many ways. For instance, one is not hampered by iBAs strict way of organizing an eBook.

The six-part BET mini-series, which premiered this month, is based on the novel by Lawrence Hill. Sadly, the launch of the app came on the 18th, two days after the first episode first aired, though episodes will be repeated, of course. Nonetheless, it is a very nice app, containing plenty of material on both the series and the novel.

Of particular note to both eBook and magazine designers, will be the instructional video to be found at the front of the app. The great eBook The Mozart Project also uses a video as its instructional and navigational guide. In some ways, with the eBook, where the opening video only plays the first time, and the reader must choose to replay it, the video solution is perfect. Here, the video will play every time the app opens, which is why there is always present a message to swipe to move on.

Navigation is not intuitive with the app as tablet owners are used to either swiping of tapping the edge of the screen to move to the next page or chapter. Here there is a bookmark at the top of the page that serves as a sort of table of contents (and not really a bookmark).

But these are minor complaints about what is a very nice app (I’ve said several time already, guess I really mean it) – and being free to download, may give designers and app developers plenty of good ideas.

Here is a brief video of the opening of the app with its instructions:

Comments are closed.