Unlimited Apps with New Version of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) Rocks
Finally! If you've been wanting to make iPad apps with InDesign, but you've been put off by the price and complexity, your time has come. Today Adobe is announcing a bunch of things that makes us very happy.
- Unlimited single edition iPad apps if you're an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber. Single-edition means apps that you can build, upload, and either give away for free or sell (that's between you and the Apple iTunes Store)! No additional fees to Adobe, no matter if people download 5 or 50,000 copies.
- A new interface for the Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) tools inside InDesign, which makes the whole process of making a folio easier and more intuitive.
- You can create folios easily on your computer and proof them via USB (via Mac) directly on your iPad, without having to upload and download to Adobe's servers all the time.
- The new DPS App Builder, which runs on a Mac and lets you piece together your app and get it ready for proofing and publishing. (You can do all the design work on a Windows machine; it's just the app-building and submission that requires a Mac.)
- There are new tools for making the same layout work for more than one screen size and dimension -- for example, one app that can run on both the older "standard def" iPads and the newer "retina/HD" iPads.
- And, best of all, Adobe is releasing a new guide to help step you through the process of making your app!
Now, it's not a perfect solution: You still have to have a $99 Apple developer account, and you still need to deal with Apple's brutal and confusing "certificate" stuff. (The solution there is probably for Adobe to just buy Apple and clean up their process. But, um, that doesn't seem likely.) And your app must still be approved by Apple, based on their guidelines. You also still have to be on CS5, CS5.5, or CS6. But if you're a subscriber, then you're on CS6, so that's no big deal. If you're not a subscriber, you can still make apps, but they're $395 each, I believe.
Also, I want to be clear: Single-edition means that you get one app -- that is, one publication. You can make as many of them as you want, but each one is a separate app. It's not a newstand app; you don't get one app that can download multiple issues of a magazine. But if you're making a brochure, a book, a catalog, an annual, a sampler? whatever? it's great!
By the way, for those of you who aren't infallible (you know who you are!), it's nice to hear Adobe say that you can update your app (making little changes or fixing typos) whenever you want, as long as you're a Cloud subscriber. (If you're not a subscriber, you can make changes for up to one year.)
Here's a shot of the new DPS App Builder (click to enlarge):
To get the new DPS tools, choose Help > Updates from within InDesign.
Of course, there are a number of other tools available for making apps, too. For example, Twixl Publisher, PressRun, Mag+, and Aquafadas. Each has its pros and cons, and several of these offer features that Adobe has not yet added.