February 25, 2015 Last Updated 11:04 am

New business digital editions: ecco RAIL builds native tablet edition using Aquafadas

New business magazine apps from Texas, South Africa and Sweden run the gamut from free, native digital editions to expensive to access PDF-based replicas

The business category of the digital newsstands are made up of publications that come from either trade publishers or the businesses themselves. Many publishers don’t like the Professional & Trade category and would rather house their titles inside Business & Investing (though Apple doesn’t maintain either category so some of the newest titles come from scam artists).

As many of the large U.S. and U.K. business magazines have long ago released digital editions, many of the newest titles are non-English language publications.

ECCO-1aecco RAIL is a Polish business magazine that is using the Aquafadas digital publishing platform to create its digital magazine.

Designed in landscape, the magazine uses fonts that are comfortable to read on both a large iPad, as well as the iPad mini (something many designers fail to consider). Although the magazine app is only for the iPad, using this kind of design would make transitioning to the iPhone a little easier as the size difference between the iPad mini and iPhone 6 Plus is not great (though still significant enough to consider when designing).

The digital magazine does not load up on digital gimmicks and so the first issue available comes in at only 12.4 MB. But the issue features enough native digital features to remind you that you are reading a native digital publications.

MM-1-coverMining Mirror comes from South Africa and appears under the Digital Publications SA developer account name, the 68th to do so. The trade publication is published by Brooke Pattrick Publications and has a circulation of 3,316.

The design is interesting in that it almost gives the reader the impression of being a replica edition, but it is not. Some photos spread across two pages, like a replica, but the text is comfortably sized, and can require scrolling.

For instance, the story “How China’s ban affects us” starts with a page where the photo bleeds to the next page. The reader swipes the reach the second page where one sees the rest of the photo along with two columns of text. The reader then scrolls down to other three pages of the story.

I find this an example where some art directors may want to consider designing for digital devices before even print. By simplifying their print designs and pumping up the font sizes, one could better convert print to digital replica editions.

DCEO-cover-200D CEO comes from D Magazine Partners, the publisher of D Magazine (D = Dallas, of course). Here the publisher doesn’t much effort into their digital edition, producing a replica edition app that even keeps the barcode on its cover. They then charge $7.99 for single issues and $54.99 for an annual subscription.

This is the third digital edition added to the Apple Newsstand, the others being D Magazine and D Wedding, the latter magazine had it digital edition launched in 2013 and has not been updated since. It also looks to have used a completely different platform.

It is possible that the publishers quickly decided to give up on native digital editions and has now settled on a replica strategy.

If you think D CEO is expensive, one should check out the magazines from Nordreportern from Sweden. Vd-tidningen, another CEO magazine, is charging $159.99 for an annual subscription (six issues) and sadly this is a bit rich for your humble reporter. The magazine is one of four released recently, all rather pricey for those not seriously interested in the titles.

All four of the new Apple Newsstand apps were developed by the Swedish developer Aggressive Development which has its own digital newsstand called Qiozk which appears to only house replicas.

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