How To Make A Magazine App

magazine app

Sales of traditional magazines and newspapers may be struggling in some subject areas but we’re actually all reading more than ever before. Some people complain these days that people spend too much time on their mobiles and tablets, but then they moaned 20 years ago that too many people were glued to their TV screens.

The difference is, people online share articles, blogs, websites, videos and a whole manner of media, which ultimately requires and element of reading. Wikipedia is the 6th highest rank website in the world and Youtube is ranked number 2 (Google is number 1). Both of these websites provide some form of either reading information or video information and whilst some of it might be dogs on rollerskates, there are millions of “how to” guides on Youtube which are watched every day.

So we know that people are still reading and watching and learning, they just do it in a different way.

There are 2 main types of magazine and 2 different ways in which a magazine app can be created. We have the traditional magazine, which may come out weekly or monthly, which can be bought in a shop and we have the digital only magazine, which only appears online.

Usually the traditional magazine gets income from actual sales and advertising and the digital magazine relies pretty much totally on advertising. And because of this, there are 2 very different methods of publishing a magazine as an app. There are actually some magazines that ONLY appear as apps and I’ll talk a little bit about that towards the end of this piece.

Method 1: News stand style Magazine App

Traditional magazines such as Esquire, GQ, Cosmopolitan etc. are periodicals. Which means they come out weekly, monthly and have actual edition numbers. They may also have a website version but this won’t usually be issuing actual editions of their magazine.

The type of app they usually create is their to replicate their actual magazine. In some respects, it’s a glossy eBook, written using their usual publishing software but then converted into an app friendly format with all of the swiping, page skipping and indexing.

These magazines aren’t live, they are usually actually put together a month in advance but because they are geared towards lifestyle, health, sport or overall topics, they are not there to display current up to the minute news. These magazines are fine to run in this way and as with the physical magazine are usually paid for by subscription and download each month.

The only downside of this type of magazine is that they are very memory hungry. Downloading can take a little and can fill up the memory on your device quite quickly. People often have to delete earlier editions, to make space for the new ones.

Method 2: Digital Magazine App

Digital magazines like Mashable and Mind Body Green have never appeared in print and have never been on a news stand in the high street. They could quite easily use method 1 to create an app, breaking everything down into different additions. The problem with that of course is that their website would always be ahead of where their app was, possibly even a month further ahead in terms of content.

So if you are running a digital only magazine or blog, with regular updates, rather than go through the hassle of creating a different version, you could build your app, around the already existing content on your magazine.

The menu interface would be different and inside the app, there would be a different layout and format but essentially, all of the articles being read on your app are being sucked in from your website.

Every time you update your online magazine, your app gets updated too… and you don’t have to do anything, its automated. The other advantage is that you don’t have to continually upload new revisions or get your users to download updates… The app is as fresh in content as your website.

Why bother with an app if it’s pretty much the same as a website?
You may ask. Well although the content is essentially the same, here’s a few things that might make an app worthwhile.

  1. If you are planning a small subscription charge, you can make your app advert free.  It makes it clean and cuts down on the load time
  2. One touch and users are viewing the app, no need to log onto the web
  3. You can send push notifications through the app, readers will be informed when new articles are published
  4. Clean, crisp layout which can be separately designed depending on phone or tablet.
  5. You can allow readers to download articles from the app that can be read, saved and stored for later viewing

those are just a few reasons why an app makes sense and don’t forget, some readers may find your app in the app store, before they even knew your website existed.

Ultimately some will stay with the free online version and others will go with the app. The app is much cleaner and has no sidebars, widgets, adverts or links, it just gives them what they want, articles, videos, pictures etc.

We’re currently working with the Angling Gazette online fishing magazine, creating an app version of their magazine. We’ll be using method 2 and will be removing all sidebar widgets, twitter feeds, facebook feeds etc. Inside the app, readers don’t want to be badgered with external links, so the app version will be nice to read and enjoyable for the reader.

If you are running a digital magazine or blog, why not get in touch with us for FREE and we will take a look at your site and give you some recommendations within 24 hours.

Get your Digital Magazine in the App store 🙂

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