30th March 2012
On the 15th March, Apple launched the new iPad into Australia. Like most of our clients, we were excited to see how our Oomph powered iPad magazines would look on the much hyped new retina display. We were not disappointed, they look incredible.
However, over the past week there has been a lot of media commentary about how some magazines ”look terrible on the new iPad”, where some images look blurry and text illegible.
In this article, we explain why the new iPad’s retina display makes some magazines look great while others are look pixelated. We also explain the different processes used by digital publishing platforms and why for publishers, the new iPad can present wonderful opportunities for digital magazines.
What’s the problem?
Some platforms use images as their content format such as PNG or JPEG images to represent pages, so what you see on screen is a static image. its really not much more than a slideshow. Additionally if the content is available in portrait and landscape then the size of the download doubles – one image per orientation.
Using images as content means that text and line art are rendered at a certain size that suits one screen resolution, which is not very forward thinking. Because the source images are pixels rather than vectors the pages look fuzzy or pixelated on anything other than the screen they were designed for. Using images for content may also cause limitations with interactivity as the app can’t really tell the difference between a page containing words and a page containing a photo.
Some magazines do look incredible. Publishing platforms, such as but not limited to Oomph, that use resolution independent files such as PDF, SVG and HTML to produce iPad magazines will look awesome on the new iPad. ACP Magazines’ Gourmet Traveller from June 2010 renders its text incredibly sharply on the new iPad, no changes needed. We are not going to say resolution independent pages are future proof but we are saying that JPEG or PNG pages of text are a really bad idea.
Magazine publishers put a huge amount of time and energy into creating rich curated content. Moving forward, publishers can take further advantage of the new iPad by increasing the resolution of the rendered images. This will have an impact on file size – the more photos used the bigger the impact. Depending on the photographic nature of your publication you may want to include higher res images.
The new iPad is finally worthy of the written word, just make sure people can read it!
At OomphHQ.com we love the new iPad, and we have no doubt that the future is looking very bright for publishers transitioning to digital.
The Crew at OomphHQ.com. Does your iPad mag need some Oomph? Contact us today.