June 4, 2015 Last Updated 11:20 am

First look: Maya Magazine, the Asian wedding digital magazine

New digital-only magazine uses the GoMobile digital publishing platform to create a native digital magazine for iOS, Android platforms

One of the digital publishing platforms included in TNM’s eBook Guide to Digital Publishing Platforms is from Oppolis which has the GoMobile platform. A few days ago I was approached by Jitesh Patel to take a look at Maya Magazine, a digital-only magazine found in the Apple App Store and Google Play (in the UK stores). As far as I am aware, it is the first time I have had a chance to look at a digital magazine that uses the platform, and what I saw was impressive.

Maya-cover-iPadThe digital magazine inside Apple’s App Store is a stand-alone app, and the premiere issue available inside can be read in both portrait and landscape on the iPad, and is available for the iPhone, as well.

As I do not have a UK iTunes account, Patel was able to provide me a direct link to the app, care of Oppolis, so that I could access the first issue.

The magazine is described in the editor’s introductory column as “the 1st truly interactive and immersive Asian Wedding Magazine,” a claim that is probably valid.

“Every Asian bride and groom should have an amazing wedding one that they can look back on with the fondest memories. This is why we have created Maya Magazine, to help read Modern Asian couples who are starting to plan their perfect day.”

Because this a native digital magazine, the layouts and font choices work on every device, in both orientations. Layouts differ, obviously, between portrait and landscape, so a bit more design work was necessary, but readers will appreciate it.

Maya-TOCThe first issue downloaded to my iPad at just a bit over 200MB, which is modest for a digital magazine that utilizes both orientations and which also includes some video content.

There is advertising in this first issue, and the ads also include appropriate designs for both portrait and landscape, with a few containing their own slideshows.

The only app bug I noticed was on the TOC where the + sign that should signify a pop-up window or caption makes the digital issue go a little crazy, but it is a harmless bug as it returns you to the same page so you can move on.

I would recommend moving the down arrows used occasionally within stories over to the side. The arrows are there to tell the reader to scroll down to access another page of the story, but as they are located at the very bottom, in the middle of the iPad screen, the iPad wants to pull up the iPad’s control screen which allows the user to raise or lower the iPad’s volume, turn on and off AirPlay, etc.

Finally, all magazines should staff boxes so we know who is behind the magazine. Self-publishers generally leave this out as there is no staff, but this is the perfect place to credit contributors, provide contact information, and to tell potential advertisers where to reach them. Print magazines are forced to do this to comply with postal regulations. Digital publishers have to make up their own rules as they go along, so this is one I would like to see all digital magazines implement.

Check out Maya Magazine yourself if you have a UK App Store account. It is free and well worth a first look.

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