September 8, 2015 Last Updated 1:39 pm

Rhubarb Fool launches two editions of Premier Tax Free magazine into the Newsstand

London and Paris city shopping guide magazines are released as hybrid editions into the Apple Newsstand, though the digital newsstand is set to go away this month with the release of iOS 9

These are the last days for the Apple Newsstand, soon to be replaced with a simple folder once iOS 9 is released to the public. But there are still publications being launched into the digital newsstand, though admittedly the flow has been reduced to a trickle lately.

Premiere-Paris-420Rhubarb Fool, a content marketing agency which specializes on the tourist trade, has released two new apps recently under its develop account: PREMIER Luxury Paris City Guide and PREMIER Luxury London City Guide. These two magazines, along with a third, IN London Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, appear to have been published with Morris Visitor Publications. (Another name mentioned is Lupus Creative: John Barker is listed as one of the designers, and any app issue reports go to him via email.)

All three digital magazines are free for readers as they are shopping magazines, the kind one would expect to find in any upscale hotel in London or Paris (or anyplace else, for that matter). The first magazine released, IN London, was built using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite and is strictly a replica edition, though with a twist. The cover is slightly animated, hot links placed on ads, and the page numbers were taken off. The digital magazine also is organized like a native digital magazine in that one swipes to move from article to article, but scroll to reach additional pages within an article. This little bit of extra production works does make this somewhat better than the standard PDF replica, though it still suffers from small font sizes due to the print pages being reduced down to fit the digital device.

But the two new Newsstand apps are what TNM calls hybrid editions: the print ads as seen in print, but the editorial pages redesigned (somewhat) for digital displays. These two new digital magazine apps are easier to read and more natural for digital devices – a definite step in the right direction, though more production works would be necessary.

Premiere-Paris-articleBy the way, all three apps from Rhubarb Fool are for the iPad-only. I believe, though, that the two new ones could translate well to the iPhone.

Both these new apps will, of course, soon be moved into the new Newsstand folder which will be a regular folder, and their issue covers which are used for icons will go away, to be replaced with a standard icon.

The other change that will occur with the release of iOS 9 is that the “Newsstand” category goes away and a new one, “Magazines & Newspapers” will replace it.

What I’m confused about, though, it what happens with the sub-categories. Takes these two apps: both are in the Newsstand, and their sub-category is Fashion & Style; but their “main” category is Lifestyle. With the release of iOS 9 they will still be in their main category of Lifestyle, and will also be under “Magazines & Newspapers” but I assume that sub-category will go away. In other words, all those publications currently in the Newsstand, but broken out by sub-categories will now be in one giant category. What a potential mess. Let’s hope I have something wrong here, because if I don’t then Apple has stuck it again to publishers.

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