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Discussion Starter #1
I am a heartbeat away from realizing my digital magazine dreams!

I just watched a ton of videos on exporting Indesign files to Flash and then Flash to Android App. I'm already a Kindle Fire Developer and have poured over that documentation.

I was just wondering if anyone else has gone down this road yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Well, I have an update:

Basically there is VERY little documentation out there on HOW to do this. Oh, there's plenty if you want to make an iPad app. ::grrr::

BUT!

This morning about 5 minutes ago I managed to take a demo mobile app from the CS6 Flash in Classroom, and fix the publishing settings to export it correctly to run on my First Generation Kindle Fire (because Adobe Air 3+ is NOT compatible with the first generation Kindle Fire).

It sounds really simple, but trust me, it took like 10 different fiddles with the controls.

Now, time for lunch, going to start at the beginning and learn flash properly, and then go from there.

But I'm getting closer......
 

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This is very interesting Elizabeth.

Are you creating an app or a digital magazine? Or are you publishing a magazine in the form of an app? ???
 

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Publishing magazine in the form of an app. Realistically, the ebook standards are just not going to catch up anytime soon and I think the future is self-encapsulated apps for our interactive ebooks and content.

With an app, readers can swipe and move objects, click on books like a button to go right to their purchase page after reading an author interview etc. With Android, it works on Android devices too, which many people are reading on, not just ereaders.

For children's books, using flash, you can animate simple illustrations, let a child HEAR the author reading the words by tapping on the letters, etc.

I just have to get the skills to do all this using GUI since I have tried and cannot think like a porgrammer to handwrite code. I can go in and modify code after reading about how and why etc, but I need visual for the design process.

And as far as application goes, simple Kindle apps can be used to tell readers about a week long $0.99 sale, or an author's full catalog, or the hottest new releases in Romance in the last 30 days etc. with interviews from those authors. The applications are endless, it's just taming the technology.

When I looked into outside companies converting Indesign to apps, it was $1299-$5,000 per APP per Channel! Now, as my magazine does well with associate traffic and paid ads (associate links can be used in software applications in the Amazon store, but not in ebooks, weird again) I plan to purchase a Mac and make apps for iPad too. But I have to learn to crawl, then walk, then RUN!
 

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Hi Elizabeth, sorry for my delayed response. I tried to reply to your post last night using my iPod Touch. But since I "upgraded" from iOS 4 (which was snappy and reliable) to iOS 5 (imagine a device that's been given Valium and deprived of sleep), the process of typing a simple message has become hopelessly exasperating. So here I am on the desktop machine...

Elizabeth Ann West said:
Publishing magazine in the form of an app. Realistically, the ebook standards are just not going to catch up anytime soon and I think the future is self-encapsulated apps for our interactive ebooks and content.

With an app, readers can swipe and move objects, click on books like a button to go right to their purchase page after reading an author interview etc. With Android, it works on Android devices too, which many people are reading on, not just ereaders.

For children's books, using flash, you can animate simple illustrations, let a child HEAR the author reading the words by tapping on the letters, etc.

I just have to get the skills to do all this using GUI since I have tried and cannot think like a porgrammer to handwrite code. I can go in and modify code after reading about how and why etc, but I need visual for the design process.

And as far as application goes, simple Kindle apps can be used to tell readers about a week long $0.99 sale, or an author's full catalog, or the hottest new releases in Romance in the last 30 days etc. with interviews from those authors. The applications are endless, it's just taming the technology.
It sounds fantastic, but as you say it's all about taming the technology. So the workflow is Adobe InDesign --> Adobe Flash --> Android executable. If you can find ways to semi-automate this process with templates and macros, it's going to save you so much time. Manually shifting every element one-by-one between apps would drive me nuts.

But yeah, the possiblities are mind-boggling, especially in the context of the size of the potential audience. I think that Samsung had 36% of the smartphone market in 2012-and they're just one of the companies who use Android on their devices.

Elizabeth Ann West said:
When I looked into outside companies converting Indesign to apps, it was $1299-$5,000 per APP per Channel! Now, as my magazine does well with associate traffic and paid ads (associate links can be used in software applications in the Amazon store, but not in ebooks, weird again) I plan to purchase a Mac and make apps for iPad too. But I have to learn to crawl, then walk, then RUN!
Bearing in mind that Apple already makes iBooks Author (which would allow you to make magazines with text, pictures, hyperlinks, sound clips, embedded videos and swipable objects using nothing more than drag-and-drop), wouldn't buying that Mac be the easier "crawling" stage when compared to learning Adobe Flash? ???

 

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Discussion Starter #6
JRHenderson said:
It sounds fantastic, but as you say it's all about taming the technology. So the workflow is Adobe InDesign --> Adobe Flash --> Android executable. If you can find ways to semi-automate this process with templates and macros, it's going to save you so much time. Manually shifting every element one-by-one between apps would drive me nuts.

But yeah, the possiblities are mind-boggling, especially in the context of the size of the potential audience. I think that Samsung had 36% of the smartphone market in 2012-and they're just one of the companies who use Android on their devices.

Bearing in mind that Apple already makes iBooks Author (which would allow you to make magazines with text, pictures, hyperlinks, sound clips, embedded videos and swipable objects using nothing more than drag-and-drop), wouldn't buying that Mac be the easier "crawling" stage when compared to learning Adobe Flash? ???
Wow. Thank you for being a good friend and providing such valuable feedback! :)

To be honest, my readership that I have built in from my other job is Kindle and Nook based, so the Android marketplace is my first target. It's also bigger than iOS, as you mentioned. And, while epub is great as a file format, I really want to learn the nearly indefinite functionality of apps. I know I could make an enhanced epub right now with embedded video, I know how to do that. The problem is distribution. Kindle just doesn't support embedded video yet in their ebooks :(

And it's stepping up and doing things the right way I think from day one. I feel very strongly that content based apps are the 2010 of the ebook world. People are increasingly not caring about HOW they get information, just that they get it easily. Apps provide much more versatility to cull data from outside sources allowing my project to be what it is at its core: an aggregator. So far, readers are going to places like Facebook pages, and blogs to learn about the latest book releases and deals to be had. An app on a phone or Kindle device lets someone "shop" at lunch and have content ready for them when they get home without violating the Internet policy of their workplace. An app on the Kindle Fire gives the reader a handy, offline reference when they're chatting with their friend about a great book they saw featured and know their friend just loves cozy mysteries featuring monkeys, but can't remember the name. And an app gives me flexibility as a marketer to make things like a Coming Soon ad for a popular indie author and if a reader is interested they can swipe out a tab, put in their email address and get a personal email from the author the DAY the book is available to purchase, perhaps earlier than the "official release date" because we upload books early to make sure they are populated for our release days.

I have very big dreams. And eventually, it will need staff to run all of this.
 

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Elizabeth Ann West said:
Wow. Thank you for being a good friend and providing such valuable feedback! :)
No problem Elizabeth. I've been interested in the idea of packaging content as an app for a long time. Over two years ago, I asked on an internet marketing forum whether movies could be distributed as an iPhone app: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-internet-marketing-discussion-forum/205958-program-turns-movies-into-standalone-iphone-apps.html

Got no response! ;)

Elizabeth Ann West said:
To be honest, my readership that I have built in from my other job is Kindle and Nook based, so the Android marketplace is my first target. It's also bigger than iOS, as you mentioned.
Fair enough, this makes perfect sense.

Elizabeth Ann West said:
And, while epub is great as a file format, I really want to learn the nearly indefinite functionality of apps. I know I could make an enhanced epub right now with embedded video, I know how to do that. The problem is distribution. Kindle just doesn't support embedded video yet in their ebooks :(
Yes, with an app, you get to start with a blank sheet. No device or file format restrictions.

Elizabeth Ann West said:
And it's stepping up and doing things the right way I think from day one. I feel very strongly that content based apps are the 2010 of the ebook world. People are increasingly not caring about HOW they get information, just that they get it easily. Apps provide much more versatility to cull data from outside sources allowing my project to be what it is at its core: an aggregator. So far, readers are going to places like Facebook pages, and blogs to learn about the latest book releases and deals to be had. An app on a phone or Kindle device lets someone "shop" at lunch and have content ready for them when they get home without violating the Internet policy of their workplace. An app on the Kindle Fire gives the reader a handy, offline reference when they're chatting with their friend about a great book they saw featured and know their friend just loves cozy mysteries featuring monkeys, but can't remember the name. And an app gives me flexibility as a marketer to make things like a Coming Soon ad for a popular indie author and if a reader is interested they can swipe out a tab, put in their email address and get a personal email from the author the DAY the book is available to purchase, perhaps earlier than the "official release date" because we upload books early to make sure they are populated for our release days.

I have very big dreams. And eventually, it will need staff to run all of this.
Elizabeth, this blew me away. Your 'aggregator' magazine apps will effectively serve as universal ebooks that can theoretically take any kind of information and put it on any device. I don't know many people with ambitions that are as big as yours, but it's fantastic to hear about them. Best of luck, I'll look out for your updates on how this project is doing. :)
 

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JR Henderson : I gave you a shout out on my latest blog post that is chronicling this journey. :) http://appartment325.blogspot.com/2013/01/day-2-is-always-doozy.html

I have a better idea of what functionalities I need in my app, which is more than I originally thought, but just means using a few more code snippet templates. It's like building blocks. :)

Anyway, I'm still having a ton of fun and the more I learn, the more incredibly FREE this world of apps becomes in terms of distributing ANYTHING. From an author app that would be free to his or her readers and update when new books come out, to a free reading group app with questions and activities for lets' say 50 indie books, the possibilities are endless....

I'm a bit intimidated, but equipping myself to climb this mountain!
 
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