Worth the wait: Greek mobile art magazine KROMA debuts inside iOS and Android apps
The iOS app appeared inside the App Store in April, but the first issue of the Magloft built digital magazine has now appeared in the app, and the debut effort is a reason to celebrate
About a month ago I downloaded a couple of new digital magazine apps – something I used to do almost daily, but now rarely am able to do. Today, most new apps feature PDFs of print magazines, so finding something worth writing about can be hard.
One of the apps I downloaded, and was really looking forward to seeing was KROMA Magazine from Yannis Spanoudis. The app description alone was enough to get me excited to see the digital issues.
“Greece is a very interesting place to be right now. Art is exploding.”
Unfortunately, once downloaded and installed the app I found the library page empty. OK, that’s not unusual, apps are often released by Apple and live in the App Store without the publisher or developer aware that their app has been approved. Why Apple approves digital magazine apps without issues, is beyond me, but I have long since given up on trying to figure out what is in the minds of those that run the App Store.
So, I waited. And waited.
Finally, a tweet alerted me to the fact that the first issue of KROMA had gone live. Hurray! It was worth the wait.
“Call me romantic, but I strongly believe that magazines are not dead,” writes Spanoudis. “(OK, some of them are.) But here are 10 great reasons why you will love KROMA magazine.”
What follows are is ten reasons incuding that the digital magazine is free, available offline and is designed for smartphones (though I enjoyed the iPad version and took the screenshots from there). He also mentions that the magazine is “coming from Greece (severely damaged economy, hugely exploding creativity).”
I can’t argue with those reasons. But I’ll add a couple more: it’s in English (where there is text), so there is no obstacle to reading, and it is a native digital magazine, and so is a pleasure to read on a phone or tablet.
The first page following the cover features an ad from PiKa Tablet, which a little investigation revealed is another business from Mr. Spanoudis. They are listed as a Mag+ partner, but this new app was built using the Magloft platform (according to a comment left by Spanoudis, which you can read below).
The first issue of the magazine, which is hefty for a digital magazine at 142 pages**, contains two sections – one in portrait and the other in landscape, with artwork that is appropriate for their sections.
Pages can be scrolled to reveal more content – so, for instance, if an artwork is a bit long for a page one can scroll the remainder of the piece. Since this digital magazine is really mobile first, that means that on portrait pages on scrolls down, but on landscape pages one would be scrolling to the left.
There is no reason to comment on the quality of the art, as TNM is not an art website. But, as you can imagine, artwork looks fantastic on an iPad, one reason I continue to dream of one day publishing a digital magazine or book of Lee Jeffries work.
It may have taken a while to get this first issue out, and producing a monthly magazine will prove quite a challenge, but let’s hope that KROMA magazine continues publishing, at least for a while.
We could certainly use some good news to come out of Greece… just as we could use some good news from the digital publishing community.
** TNM’s own tablet magazine experiment, Tablet Publishing – Winter 2013, is still live in the App Store (guess I forgot to pull it). It was rather large, too, though the reason for that was that it contained our first attempt at the Guide to Digital Publishing Platforms. The art director on that project was another Greek designer, Konstantinos Antonopoulos, who shortly after the project went on to join Al Jazeera English.