A magazine app has transformed per se in the midst of rising technology, signifying the transition from print to digital publishing that has unveiled a plethora of advanced ways to design and publish content on mobile and web applications. When thinking of creating a digital magazine, publishers have lots of questions about where to start, what tool to use, how to distribute, and more. This blog will cover all of those points and prepare you for the next step toward becoming a digital publisher.
At first, the easiest and most inexpensive solution to creating a digital magazine was to convert a PDF into a digital version. However, the drawback to using PDF is the fixed layout, which makes it difficult for users to read the PDF on a mobile device; it usually requires zooming in and panning around. Furthermore, a PDF magazine requires users to download it before viewing¾it almost feels like an alien task.
In the mobile-first age, most people don’t want to spend much on something that’s not responsive to their devices. Today more people spend time on their phones, tablets, and other personal smart devices than it was at any other time in history. Unlike the traditional times, today’s software can help you create a magazine app or so-called native app. Thus arises the question “Which is better Android or iOS?”
In terms of the sheer number of devices, Android stands out on both tablets and phones irrespective of the fact that people tend to spend more money on iOS and Apple. There’s a massive global market share led by Android over iOS. According to a study, Android holds 72.2% of the global market share against iOS’ 26.99%.
Whether you’re new to the digital publishing world or an old player eyeing expansion and wondering if Android is the place to go next, the only way to clarity is to test: Put your app out there, invest in some minimal marketing, and see how it does. A Google Play Developer account only costs $25 once, and there’s no additional charge from Mag+ to build a magazine app for Android.
Publishing an Android Mag+ App
To publish a standalone magazine app for Google Play, there are two things to consider: the app and the issues. Creating a Google Play app is similar to creating an iOS app. There are images to customize and store, and developer settings to enter. You need a Google Play Developer account. There is no charge from Mag+ as long as it is the same app, which is published through your same Publish portal. Just search for the Android-related articles on our support site and walk through the Android support articles there or contact us and we can do it for you.
Note that the magazine app will look and feel a little different from your iOS app. These are two different operating systems, just like Mac and Windows—they do mostly similar things but each has its flavor. Don’t fight it. Trust that the UI for the Android app has been developed with Android and UI best practices, and will make sense to Android users, even if you as an iOS user find it confusing at first.
Creating your issues for Android is also pretty simple. Even though the mag+DesignD paradigm is to create issues sized specifically for the device they will be published on, that’s not realistic given that there are thousands of Android devices out there. So instead, a mag+ powered magazine app intelligently scales one issue size—specifically 1280×800—to fit any Android device with no visible resolution loss even on higher-res devices.
Why not publish the same iOS MIB to Android? Well, you can do that and the issue will be served to Android devices, but we recommend using our simple Multi-Device Export feature to just port your design over to the Android 1280×800 template and do some basic tweaking. Because Android devices tend to have a different aspect ratio than iOS devices: they’re often taller and less square, so you’ll get less letterboxing with a dedicated issue in that aspect ratio.
Getting your magazine app on top of the store
When creating an issue, you can make complete use of modern interactivities to keep your readers engaged throughout their experience. Since the experience would be new to them, you’d also need to guide your new customers through your new magazine app. Running a full-fledged magazine app involves procedures other than issue designing, such as app submission, app optimization, app updation, and user behavior tracking. And the benefit of partnering with Mag+ is that your team doesn’t have to worry about the technicalities surrounding these procedures, specifically app creation and submission to Google Play Store. Our highly skilled backend team tackles all such tasks, allowing you to take enough time to create issues with our Adobe InDesign plug-in, mag+DesignD.
Optimizing a magazine app means selecting the right app category, naming the app, using a catchy app icon, search engine optimizing your app (for increasing the app’s ranking and visibility), and more. The overall aim is to get your magazine app on top of the Google Play Store, surpassing your competition, and attract potential customers that may become permanent subscribers to your magazine app. Once a customer downloads your app, the ball is in your court. Mostly, publishers recommend putting some free content in their magazine apps to catch the interest of new customers. People love free products, and sharing free content is a common content marketing strategy that big brands execute to entice their customers.
There’s a probability that your magazine app users can become your brand’s mouthpiece if they start liking the content you push on a quarterly, weekly, or monthly basis—depending on your frequency of publishing content. To unlock this massive benefit, you’d need to integrate social sharing functionalities. Through such options, the user can post your content on his/her social media accounts, thereby sharing quality content with his/her friends to bring you more eyeballs from prospective users.
Monetizing your magazine app
Now that you’ve got your magazine app on users’ Android devices, how about generating some additional revenue for your business? You can monetize your mag+ powered apps using advertising and sponsorship to increase your credibility and reliability in the market and eventually establish yourself as a reputable brand. With free mag+ tools, you can create custom ads for mag+ publications and export their MIB file to include in the issue. One can also create HTML ads, and to do so you’d have to add an HTML object to your layout.
I hope this article answered a few basic questions about exploring the Android world. You can find a lot more information on our support site and in other blog posts. For more information about Android digital publishing with Mag+, please reach out to us today!