As mobile apps continue to gain popularity, more and more content creators are realizing that they need to have their content on the iPad. In January 2013 Apple reported 40 billion apps have been downloaded since 2008. That is a lot of eyeballs consuming content on mobile apps. But what if you are not a developer? With tools like Mag+ you can still get your content onto the iPad. We make it easy. In this article you will learn the basics on how to create iPad apps without coding.
Mag+ has a template and an InDesign plugin that help you build your digital layouts. You can download these tools here. It is important to start on a Mag+ template (not a different InDesign document). These templates are specially designed to work with the devices you will be building for and work with the Mag+ system. Each template design is for a specific screen size. You can choose any template you like, but let’s start with the iPad.
A Tour of the Mag+ Template
As you open up your iPad template, you will see that the Mag+ templates are long, allowing you to design specifically for the iPad canvas. This is because of the Mag+ layered architecture. The A-layer can scroll freely up and down, over the B-layer, giving your design additional depth that is not available in the print medium. The layers palate (part of the Mag+ tools that you can download for free) includes several layers that allow you to see what your design looks like in portrait or landscape orientation.
Inside the Mag+ Plug-in
Once you have the plug-in installed, there are a few things you will want to do when you first start designing your Mag+ page.
- Create your ‘issue’ folder. This is where your designs will be exported. It can be stored anywhere you want, and named anything you want.
- Create your ID. This is an internal name used for you to reference each page
- Create the page name. This is what the user will see in the navigation of the app itself. You want to make sure that each name is relevant.
- Select the orientation you want to design in.
Check out this video for more information on the Mag+ InDesign Plugin and Templates.
One you are set up and somewhat familiar with the template and plug-in, start creating your content! The great thing about Mag+ is that most of what you are doing in the Mag+ template, is exactly what you do in print. It is designing a layout. The only thing that is different is your canvas. With the matchless canvas of the iPad, or other mobile devices you have some unique abilities that your print canvas does not have. For instance you have depth so you can do pop-ups and multiple layers, you can have scrolling content, and you can make content move dynamically when the user turns the device. It adds an extra dimension to the layout, and none of this requires any coding.
Once you are set up we suggest you check out the below instructional sections on some of the basic features that will ad a lot of value to your interactive design.
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