Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

01/29/2011

Adobe’s Moving Fast with Flash & Air Technologies for Publishers on iOS & Android-Based Apps


Since Apple backed down on it’s ban of  Adobe’s Flash tech last September (due primarily to the FTC investigated complaint filed by Adobe against Apple for banning competition to it’s own tech), Adobe has moved fast to bring their very creative and imaginative tech apps to, not only the Apple iPad and iPhone, but to other rapidly developing tablet computers and devices as well.

These details from Kasper Jade , publisher and owner of the AppleInsider:

Adobe prepping “Creative Suite 5.5 Digital Publishing” for iOS, Android development

 Adobe appears poised to rush to market a new bundle of Creative Suite applications ahead of CS6 that it hopes will solidify its Flash and Air technology as an alternative platform for developers looking to capitalize on the booming market for iOS and Android-based cell phone and tablet applications.

The new suite, which will reportedly be marketed as “Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Digital Publishing” suite, will showcase a new version of its “Packager for iPhone” application that will include support for not only Apple’s iPhone, but also the iPad and the new crop of Android tablets, incorporating popular touch gestures like “Pinch.”

As it stands, Packager for iPhone is a feature of Adobe Flash Professional CS5 software and the Adobe AIR SDK 2.0.1, which offers Flash developers a fast and efficient method to port existing code from ActionScript 3 projects to deliver native applications on iOS devices.

AppleInsider can independently corroborate claims that Adobe is feverishly working on a high profile CS 5.5 bundle that will land ahead of CS 6.0. While researching the features of Adobe Creative Suite 6.0 (1, 2) that were published last week, people familiar with Adobe’s plans provided evidence of the aforementioned “Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Digital Publishing” suite by noting that the software maker had recently begun beta testing Adobe Flash Professional 5.5.

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07/23/2010

Adobe’s New iPad Publishing Tool is RICH!

Filed under: Adobe app for iPad,Adobe's iPad publishing tool,iPad — gator1965 @ 12:20 pm

Imagine getting custom designed, fully interactive, colorful, magazine-like web pages over your iPad rather than the same old blah template web pages…Well, it’s coming gratis Adobe’s InDesign software.

The Motley Fool’s Gregory Robleto reports:

Adobe product manager Dave Dickson recently revealed on his blog that a forthcoming set of tools can act as the blueprint for publishing digital magazines when paired with Adobe’s InDesign software.

I believe this will be one of the year’s biggest success stories in digital publishing: the Wired magazine digital edition for the Apple iPad. Critics were awestruck by the elegant interactive layout of the digital edition, built using Adobe InDesign and a set of publishing tools. The results were hugely successful for Wired; the digital edition outsold the print edition while not cannibalizing the offline readership.

Why magazines look so much nicer than web pages
What made Wired’s digital edition so successful is they provided a magazine-quality spread on the Apple iPad. Most digital publishers use content management systems that are resource-intensive to set up and maintain. Since it’s cost-prohibitive to custom layout each article, many sites use the same template across all articles.

But in the print world, the process is simpler and designers do create custom layouts for each article. What Adobe revealed yesterday is that this new toolkit will make that same level of simplicity available for digital publication, while still maintaining online features such as interactive links and panning and zooming. The result is an interactive media experience that isn’t so aesthetically blah.

Adobe out in front
Adobe must be very bullish on the iPad if it’s setting up tools and a process for publication to a device that’s only four months old. Adobe also plans to roll out similar technology across other upcoming tablet devices such as the HP Slate, Dell Streakn or the ever-rumored Google / HTC tablet.

Contrast that to when Adobe lagged in page layout software in the 1990s. Adobe was still peddling antiquated Aldus Pagemaker, while competitor Quark, was dominating the market space. So much so that they announced their intentions to buy out Adobe.

Adobe rejected that offer, continuing to churn away at their own PageMaker replacement, and in 1999, Adobe InDesign launched and began Adobe’s displacement of Quark as the leader in the desktop publishing.

Now 11 years later, they are aggressively out in front announcing how to use their tools to publish to the next big thing in digital media and stealing all the spotlight from Quark, who two weeks ago announced pretty much the very same thing.

So what should the Fool do?
You tell us. As a publisher of digital newsletters, we’d like to know your thoughts. Would you be more enticed to read investing advice in Stock Advisor or the latest small-cap picks from Motley Fool Hidden Gems if it was made available to you in an elegant print fashion for your iPad, Kindle, or other favorite e-reader? Tell us your thoughts in comments.

06/16/2010

Mobile Publishing Has a Ticket to Ride!



There is a plan afoot that just might rescue magazines and newspapers from a slow death and make them readily available online and profitable to boot!

The rescue is being carried out by the mobile digital devices flooding the market recently and the new mobiles waiting in the wings…such as the Dell Streak or the Samsung Galaxy.

John Kennedy writes this in the SiliconRepublic.com:

Watch out Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is now in the digital news reader market having acquired Skiff, a Hearst-backed tech start-up that helps distribute newspaper and magazine content and could provide stiff competition to the iPad.

Murdoch has been one of the strongest proponents of building paywalls around newspapers and wants to follow on the success of successful properties like the Wall Street Journal and The Times of London.

Murdoch has acquired Skiff LLU (pictured above), a maker of a flexible news reader device, as well as a company called Journalism Online LLC, which is developing technology that helps publishers collect micro-payments from readers online.

He hopes that both acquisitions will lend support to his quest to help newspaper publishers be as profitable online as they once were in print.

The Skiff digital reader which Murdoch plans to bring to market later this year features an 11.5-inch grayscale touchscreen that allows users to download material wirelessly from Skiff’s online store.

The first material to feature on the Skiff digital reader will be the Financial Times, the New York Times, Forbes, Popular Mechanics, Random House and Simon & Schuster. The technology could also be licensed out to hardware from other manufacturers, appearing perhaps as an app on an Android phone or tablet computer.

Mobile publishing business to boom
The mobile publishing business is about to go stellar thanks to devices like the Apple iPad which have allowed publishers to redefine how news and magazine content is delivered online via apps. Magazines and newspapers that have delivered breakthrough iPad apps include Wired, Time magazine and the Financial Times, while news apps like the Pulse Reader, BBC News, Reuters News Pro and AP News are breaking new ground in online news distribution.

The online advertising side of the coin is also hard to ignore. Last week, Apple revealed that its iAd platform already has US$60m in ad bookings – 50pc of all North America’s mobile ads for H2 2010.

Quite rightly this has online publishers worried about whether they will be excluded from Apple’s devices – now almost 60pc of all mobile devices in the US – and led to the CEO of Google’s recently acquired AdMob expressing his concerns over recent changes to Apple’s terms for app developers.

Either way, for such a young market, the energy and competition about to be unleashed is mesmerising and with new devices entering the fray all the time like the Dell Streak or the Samsung Galaxy, a whole new paradigm in publishing is about to be unleashed with News Corp, Apple and Google currently leading the land grab.

06/02/2010

Are iPad Apps Simply Window Dressing?



Snazzy new iPad apps have a lot of new flashy bells and whistles that will appeal to a certain miniscule, tech-addicted group (at least at first)…but NOT to the vast majority of the internet-consuming public…who just want relevent content that they can find easy (and free) if possible.

So, publishers do not need the super flashy apps!…Just functional ones. AND they should not rely on gadgetry alone to sell media products (books, magazines & newspapers)…Cause, as I’ve said before, when the dust settles around new gadgets and apps…King Content will reign! People want useful and entertaining content, they won’t be gadget-stupid forever.

You can wrap a bad present in beautiful paper and top it with a wondrous bow, but, when opened…you STILL have a bad present.

Mathew Ingram , a senior writer at GigaOm.com, wrote this super account of the effort Adobe made to come up with its vision of interactive publishing for mobile devices like the iPad:

Adobe may have been stymied at every turn by Apple and its very public hatred of all things Flash, but that hasn’t stopped the company from pushing its vision of interactive publishing for mobile devices like the iPad. Today, Adobe announced a “digital publishing platform” based on its Creative Suites software that it says will allow any magazine publisher to have a snazzy, interactive app just like the one Wired recently introduced . But is that really what publishers need as they try to move further into the digital multiplatform world? It’s not clear that it is.

Adobe definitely deserves some credit for finding a way for the Wired app to integrate a lot of cool features without using Flash. Readers can flip through articles with the flick of a finger, scroll through a timeline view of stories, rotate and zoom in on images, and so on. For any publisher whose content involves a lot of imagery — and who wants to appeal to advertisers — these kinds of features are great eye candy. But the big question is whether they’ll convince people to pay for magazine content through an app, rather than just using the web browser on their iPad to consume the same content free of charge. Wired’s app is $4.99, and that’s just for a single issue of the monthly magazine, the same as the print version.

It isn’t just the free vs. paid contrast that publishers have to be concerned about, either. One of the fundamental properties of Flash that many web developers — and web users — instinctively dislike is the fact that it removes much of what makes the web so interactive: namely, the links, the ability to share or remix content, etc. In the same way, Wired’s app seems hermetically sealed off from the rest of the Internet. There are some links (including inside ads) but you can’t share a link to a story through a blog or a social network, and you can’t cut and paste anything.

That may all be great from a publisher’s point of view, since it (theoretically at least) increases the chances that a user will stay with the content and not go elsewhere, and simultaneously decreases the likelihood that a reader will take the content and use it in some unauthorized way. But is it great from a user’s point of view? Because it seems like an attempt to take the kind of control that publishers traditionally had in print and reproduce it in digital form, rather than trying to take advantage of the inherent features of mobile, Internet-enabled publishing.

Not everyone is going to be happy with that trade-off. Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson, for example — who recently wrote about his love for the iPad and how his family has adopted it as their new favorite computer — claims he’s come to prefer consuming content through a web browser rather than any of the dedicated publisher apps he has on the device. Among other things, Wilson said this is because:

Many of the apps treat pages as monolithic objects. You can’t cut and paste text, you can’t engage with the content. It is just like reading a magazine or a newspaper. If I wanted to read a magazine or newspaper in physical form, I’d do that.Which may fit well with Apple’s approach to the iPad platform, which Federated Media CEO John Battelle describes as an AOL-style walled garden. But publishers lusting after their own Wired-style apps had better hope that their readers don’t agree with the Union Square VC’s views, or their apps could wind up being nothing more than snazzy-looking ghost towns.

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