March 19, 2015 Last Updated 1:03 pm

Barcelona City Council releases native digital edition of their tourist magazine Barcelovers

The Apple Newsstand app for the iPad is an interactive edition of the city’s print tourist magazine, also available online in PDF form

The city council of Barcelona has launched an iPad edition of its tourist magazine, Barcelovers. The Apple Newsstand app delivers the latest issue, number 4, in Catalan, Spanish and English.

Barce-cover-smThe digital edition appears to be a hybrid edition, with the ads as seen in print, but the editorial formatted for the iPad. There is also a PDF version available on the website.

This is a very well done digital edition and comes in at the rather most size 125 MB despite native digital layouts and features such as embedded video, animations and the like.

But one must say that these kinds of beautifully created digital magazines are becoming rarer and rarer, usually created by digital-only publishers or organizations outside the magazine business. While the hybrid edition is still commonly seen inside the Apple Newsstand from major publishers such as Time Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst, etc., there is a growing opinion that the PDF replica is where the future lies. The reason, some have told me, is simply that a replica can travel – be placed inside any digital newsstand. That reads who are subjected to these digital editions, after previously reading native digital editions, hate them with such a passion seems not to matter to these magazine executives. Let them eat cake.

Barce-articleOne simply cannot compare the readability of the digital edition of Barcelovers with (as an example) the new digital edition for Martha Stewart Living. One is properly sized and designed, the other requires pinch-to-zoom to read. But I digress.

The new Apple Newsstand app, the first to appear under the “Ajuntament de Barcelona” developer account, is the 33rd app released in total. Other apps include guides to parks and museums, sometimes different mobile apps for different languages.

Like most digital magazines designed for marketing purposes, Barcelovers is free of charge to download and access. Visitors to Barcelona will find the ads as interesting as the editorial: there are ads, for instance, for FC Barcelona, a Levis retail store, and the Mobile World Congress (sadly the Newsstand app appeared inside the store two weeks after the end of the event).

As the magazine is produced quarterly, it will surely be easier to continue to produce such an interactive edition, and as I hope to visit Catalonia eventually, this is one digital magazine that will stay on my iPad.

  • Neil Morgan 3 years ago

    Nice mag but can’t find Barcelovers when you search in Newsstand or the Appstore – nor for ‘Barcelona’. Weird.

    • D.B. Hebbard 3 years ago

      It showed up for me in the U.S. store, so I checked the UK store and it was there, too. Maybe Apple has banned you? 😉