Spanish sports magazine AS launches native digital magazine edition apps: AS Color
New Apple Newsstand and Google Play magazine apps are designed in landscape, something increasingly rare in these days of print replica editions
The chances that a publisher would invest today in a native tablet edition for their magazine is, I’m afraid to say, becoming less likely. But it still happens, and one hopes readers will find these apps and justify the time and effort it takes to create them.
The latest such native digital magazibe launch is AS Color en Kiosko y Mas, a Spanish sports magazine that has been launched under the Comeresa developer account. That account has only one other app inside the App Store, for Kiosko y más which is a digital newsstand app holding 400+ publications.
Because it comes from a digital newsstand one might assume that the branded app would simply be a replica of the print edition. But the thing that immediately gives away the fact that this will be a native digital edition is that the magazine’s app icon is in landscape. Generally, magazines use portrait icons as magazines are usually built in portrait – and even those that offer landscape reading stick to a portrait icon. The thinking is that landscape icons are reserved for newspapers.
The exception, of course, are those native digital magazines that have chosen to design exclusively in landscape, but few actually chose to go away from the standard magaizne icon look.
There used to be a discussion among digital publishing designer, back in 2010 and 2011, about whether landscape was the best orientation for digital magazines. It almost seems quaint now, as major publishers were really not very enthusiastic about native digital publishing and quickly won out, forcing PDFs on readers. But back then, there was a good argument to be made for designing in landscape, one of them being that photography and video works best in landscape.
Well, you be the judge. AS Color is free to download and access the issues, and being that the magazine is in Spanish, those designers not fluent will not be distracted by the actual articles and can check out the design ideas for themselves. (But if you are interested in the material, there is an English language version of the website here.)