Mag+ is an InDesign-based plugin for creating tablet and smartphone digital publications. Mag+ is one of the industry leaders with more than 3000 apps on Apple, Android and Amazon App Stores. Mag+ pro Peter Stirratt will tell how the Mag+ target audience has changed and give his professional advice.
Publish on: Tablets, Phones
Supported OS: Mac OS, Windows OS
Software requirements: Adobe InDesign CS6-CC
You can find some of these apps on magplus.com.
Mag+ offers three pricing options:
- Audio and video
- Pan & zoom images
- Scrollable content
- Image sequences
- Dual orientation
- Web Feed
Free InDesign plugin for adding an interactive feature to InDesign layout. Use plugin for free and pay when you’re ready to publish.
Mag+ plugin includes:
1. Panels: Vertical (issue properties), Settings and Object (creating interactive objects).
2. Templates for different devices and resolutions.
3. Templates contain predefined layers. Objects placed on the different layers can have different settings. Layers control pop-ups, scrolling, clickable area and media area. (Every type of interactive object has its layer).
- Image gallery with thumbnails.
- Image slideshow with a swipe.
- Image sequence.
- Online content feature.
- Pinch & Zoom object.
- Web Feed element.
5. You can preview articles on tablets and phones on Mag+ Reviewer (it’s free to download)over a wireless network. Also, you can preview current design on your computer (only Mac OS) by installing Mag+ Reviewer for iOS Simulator.
6. Mag+ Publish tool assembles content, build and configure an app.
Mag+ teamed up with analytic providers like Flurry and Localytics and marketing and mobile relationships management apps like Appboy, Fiksu and eMagazines. Support for these add-on services is built into all Mag+ apps.
Mag+ Pros and Cons
- InDesign based.
- Pay when you ready to publish.
- No coding.
- Host content yourself.
- All content can be segmented by a user and gated behind a login.
- Video tutorials and knowledge base on magplus.com.
- Mag+ user forum.
- Unlimited push notifications for communicating with users.
- Regular updates and realises of new features.
- Social sharing.
- Predefined layers help organize a publication.
- Flexible pricing allows moving between plans.
- Integration with Appboy, Fiksu, eMagazines and analytic providers like Flurry and Localytics for all pricing plans.
- Unlike many other platforms, Mag+ offers creative services.
- Mag+ Reviewer is not available for Windows OS.
- Download sizes. The size of apps built with Mag+ is larger than HTML-based publications.
- Text search isn’t supported.
- Readers can’t view magazines built with Mag+ on a computer.
- Mag+ doesn’t support multi-language publications.
- Mag+ doesn’t support progressive download (will release during this year).
Mag+ pro Peter Stirratt tells about Mag+ pros and cons, its target audience and how the audience has changed.
Peter Stirratt is a Mag+ Representative for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Hi is a Mag+ employee based at their UK Partner, Apptitude Media, who are both a digital publisher and creative studio. Apptitude Media use the Mag+ Software for their digital magazines the British Journal of Photography, Popular Science UK and FLTR.
How long have you been using Mag+?
I have been working for Mag+ just under a year but my colleagues at Apptitude have been using Mag+ since 2011 on a range of publications on both iPad & iPhone. The Apptitude office is a fantastic place to be because I am sat alongside some highly skilled designers who have made the transition from print to digital and won awards for it! Apptitude Media won the PPA App of the Year 2013 & Publishing Innovators of the Year 2013.
Mag+ Pros and Cons?
The core strengths of Mag+ are the flexibility, simplicity and accessibility of the platform to a wide range of users.
Mag+ is flexible because it is a custom design model; this allows the user to create a fairly basic page-turning magazine or a highly sophisticated and interactive magazine making use of the platforms multiple-layered architecture.
I highlight simplicity because Mag+ was created by editors and print designers who wanted to ease the transition from print to digital. What better way to do this than create a turnkey design to distribution ecosystem that plugs-in to the creative environment that designers feel most comfortable in? Mag+ plugs-in to inDesign, allows one design for both orientations and allows you to review throughout on your chosen tablet or mobile device.
Mag+ is accessible for two reasons; firstly the tools are free to download and completely unrestricted, you only pay when you are ready to publish; secondly the pricing structure doesn’t discriminate the user over who they are (an enterprise or a publisher) and the options are cost effective making the licence cost commercial viable for both small, independent publishers and blue chip corporations alike.
This is difficult to say because I think the platform is a truly great product but if I was forced to highlight one limiting feature it would be that the platform is only compatible with IOS, Android & Amazon Kindle Fire. Saying this these are the most evolved markets and we are currently conducting R&D into other market places.
The main question. Mag+ target audience? (huge publishing houses or corporations or small agencies)
The target audience of Mag+ has shifted slightly since the inception of the software although we still hold tightly to our roots. The original target audience was the traditional publishing space but with the enormous growth in apps for enterprise we now see 60-70% of our client base occupying the business world.
What should publishers take into account when they’re choosing the tool?
When choosing a digital publishing tools a publisher has to consider two vital factors, the level of interactivity they want to achieve and cost. Fortunately Mag+ allows both a highly sophisticated design and a cost effective solution.
What do you love most about Mag+?
What do I love about Mag+? Mag+ has been on a journey with the iPad from the start but it has innovated along the way resulting in close to 3000 apps across iPad, iPhone, Android Tablet & Smartphone and Kindle Fire.
What do you want to change in Mag+?
Mag+ is constantly changing which is essential in such a young industry. I would like to see a feature allowing progressive download of issues allowing the user to read before the whole issue is downloaded, whilst the download times are quick at present when I am reading a digital magazine I want it to be ready to view on picking up my tablet!
You’re advice to new publishers?
Download the Mag+ tools – they are free to use. If you want to publish make sure you are delivering something different not just a print-replica.
Have you tried another publishing tool?
Apptitude Media trialled their award winning publication the British Journal of Photography on Adobe DPS but they found that Mag+ has better capabilities, had better support, greater workflow, a more advanced production tool and was far more cost effective on both licensing costs and data charges.
About Apptitude Media
Apptitude Media are a fantastic example of a company that is wise to the world of digital publishing, many have entered this new medium with the belief “if you build it they will come”…this is only true if what you build is something innovative, beautiful and provides a fantastic user experience. Apptitude have also been wise to the importance of a digital strategy and not simply treating it is an extension of print. Apptitude developed a program called Subsplus which Mag+ sell as part of the dual partnership these two companies enjoy. Subsplus allows you to grant access to your digital issues to anyone you choose, paid subscribers, print readers, contributors, advertisers etc. You simply connect your existing database, or add new users via the Subsplus authentication API.
Read also: Interview with Bonnier Growth Media CEO Gregg Hano on bonnier.com.