Quark launches App Studio for iPad publishing

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Quark has announced the immediate availability of its App Studio for Quark Publishing System, a new module for the Quark Publishing System, designed to make it easier to publish to the iPad.

Publishers who use Quark Publishing System—an editorial workflow system for medium-to-large businesses—can now use App Studio to create and publish custom iPad apps. Quark Publishing System automatically assembles and publishes each digital issue.

“Many of our customers are looking to publish design-rich and engaging interactive content to the iPad in order to extend their brand, generate new revenue streams, and reach new customers. However, the barriers—both financial and technical—to publishing to devices such as the iPad can be significant, and for many, impossible to absorb in this economic climate,” said P.G. Bartlett, Quark’s senior vice president of product management. “App Studio for Quark Publishing System gives professional and corporate publishers a cost-effective and manageable solution for publishing to the iPad that puts designers, rather than programmers, in control.”

From pages to app

App Studio lets users to configure a starter application that reflects their branding and user interface to create a custom iPad app.

Designers can create digital publications in QuarkXPress 8.5 and include rich media such as audio, video, and interactive features in their designs. Once complete, Quark Publishing System automatically builds and publishes the digital publications and makes them available to the app.

App Studio includes the following core elements: a Quark iPad starter application for configuring custom apps; an iPad Framework which lets publishers create customized, branded apps; QuarkXPress XTension software for enriching content with interactive elements; a Web-based service for managing apps, publications, and issues; the ability to preview custom apps and digital publications in Apple’s iPad simulator or directly on specified iPads; and automated workflows to publish and update digital publications via a Web browser.

Users do not need any programming experience, advanced technical skills, or specialized equipment.

Quark Publishing System customers can try App Studio for free. They pay when they are ready to submit their app to the App Store. App Studio costs $4,000, and includes the starter application and a license to produce an unlimited number of apps for the iPad. Customers also pay a license fee to publish digital issues. Prices start at $349 for publishing a single issue, and decrease depending on the number of issues purchased. An unlimited annual license is also available. There’s no monthly subscription fee or any margin from App Store sales.

For smaller companies

What if QuarkXPress users want to publish an iPad app, but are not using the Quark Publishing System? No problem.

Quark has also announced a new iPad Publishing Service for QuarkXPress, which lets version 8.5 users publish QuarkXPress content to the iPad. Quark will configure a starter iPad app with the customer's logos and colors, and facilitate content enrichment for the app. This new service is targeted to anyone from individual designers to corporate publishers, as well as book, newspaper, and magazine publishers. Users can either convert existing print publications for delivery to the iPad or create unique iPad versions.

Configuration of the starter iPad app carries a one-time $495 charge per app. Conversion of the QuarkXPress layouts to iPad issue files costs $495 per issue. Customers also pay a license fee for each issue published, starting at $349 for a single issue, and decreasing depending on the number of issues purchased. Beyond that, there are no charges or revenue sharing.

Quark’s iPad Publishing Service will be available in February 2011, and customers who start using the service in February will be able to migrate to App Studio for QuarkXPress later in the year. Customers must have an Apple Developer ID and will be responsible for submitting their creation to the App Store. QuarkXPress 8.5 is required; users of previous versions must upgrade to the latest version. All current QuarkXPress 8 users can upgrade to version 8.5 for free.

See Quark's Website for more information and to complete the online information form. A Quark representative will contact customers to get them started.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Easier document sharing
    • New hanging-characters feature
    • Interface updates make the program easier and more streamlined to use


    • Interface changes are only partial
    • Few brand-new features
    • New features are of limited utility for most users
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