Turning InDesign Files to iPad Apps
I’ll be speaking at Macworld Expo (San Francisco) in a couple of weeks on the topic of converting InDesign files to the iPad. So I’ve been exploring the various options available. I doubt this is a comprehensive list, but it’s a start. If you know of more solutions, feel free to post them in the comments below.
Some solutions let you add interactive features directly within InDesign, and then export a file that can be converted into an iPad iApp.
- Adobe’s Digital Publishing Solution (DPS): This used to be called the “digital magazine publishing solution” (DMP), but fortunately someone at Adobe came to their senses and realized that it’s useful for more than just magazines. Some third-party integrators/developers (such as MEI) are basing their workflow on DPS.
- Woodwing: Many of the world’s best-known magazines are basing their iPad versions on Woodwing’s solution. This solution is based on the popular Woodwing workflow server solution.
- RovingBird: Relatively new to the scene is the RovingBird ePublisher. This may be a significantly less expensive solution. Stay tuned for more interesting stuff coming from them.
- Aquafadas: This French company looks to have a really great solution, too. [added 4/11].
- PressRun: This one seems priced for larger publishers, but offers some very cool features (both InDesign to app and XML to app). [added 4/11; revised 7/11 because PressRun now has good packages that are aimed at small to medium publishers, too.]
- MagPlus: Interesting ideas, from the makers of the Popular Science app. [added 4/11].
Convert PDF files to iApps
Other solutions take a different approach: You export a PDF file from InDesign (or any other application, I guess), then upload that, add interactivity using their proprietary solution (usually through a web browser) and then they convert the file to an iApp for you (or, in some cases, force you to use their app).
- PixelMags: This company is converting some big-selling magazines for publishers based on PDF files.
- RareWire: With a couple of big name magazines starting to use their services, they still say they offer products for as little as $99/month. I’m curious!
- Mygazines: They’re primarily focused on web-delivery solutions, but they offer something called a “wr(App)” for a couple grand per app. Hm.
- Texterity: Actually, I’m not sure if they’re doing apps from PDF or not. Might just be HTML wrapped in an App? I’ll need to get more info on this one.
- Issuu: Oh, nevermind, it is only available for Android at this time. Probably Flash based. But they promise an iPad version “soon.”
- MagCloud: This HP company is primarily known for on-demand print magazines, but you can now publish your uploaded PDF for the iPad. They do not add any additional interactivity. It appears as though they don’t make an iApp, but rather just allow you to view your magazine in their free app.
- Zinio: Zinio is one of the oldest players in the digital magazine market. They have some cool technology, but it’s exceedingly difficult to get details on how it works, how much it costs, and so on. I get the sense that they don’t really want to talk to anyone who isn’t a large publisher. We’ll see if that changes.
Other suggestions? Ideas? Note that I’m obviously not discussing EPUB or PDF or other options in this article. I talked about those in an earlier post.