Smartphone and tablet applications are becoming a popular means of distributing content. While organizations can design and develop apps from scratch, this can be costly and time-consuming, considering the programming expertise required. The latest release of QuarkXPress simplifies the process of creating branded applications for the iPad, with built-in Quark App Studio.

Among the major features of the update is the inclusion of Quark App Studio, which is a software suite that enables content authors to design, publish and distribute apps meant for the iPad through the Apple iTunes store. This also includes the ability to create apps that support in-app purchases, which can be useful for the likes of magazine publishers that will require a regular subscription or payment for premium access.

 

Quark App Studio Previewer Screenshot

Quark App Studio Issue Previewer enables authors to preview their app and content prior to distribution

 

Publishing Branded iPad Apps

Gavin Drake, Quark's VP for marketing shares the benefit of being able to publish branded iPad applications without having to pay costly licenses, revenue shares or development fees.

With App Studio we eliminate the biggest hurdles by offering a solution that designers can manage without requiring programming and that is affordable. Just as importantly, our pricing model doesn't lock customers into monthly subscriptions, download costs, or revenue shares with Quark, which means taking the first step into iPad publishing doesn't require a long-term commitment.

IPad applications can be designed and developed through QuarkXpress 9 components that enable authors to lay out and design content enriched with pictures, slideshows, movies and audio. This includes support for designing for touch-based interfaces.

  • App Studio Factory -- This component features predefined application templates that can be easily customized to fit one's needs. Features include support for in-app payments and in-app subscriptions.
  • App Studio Issue Previewer -- This component lets designers test their branded iPad applications either through an iOS simulator, or by downloading the pre-release edition of the application from iTunes store.
  • App Studio Publishing Portal -- This feature supports management of content, including the sale and movement of issues.

How Much Will it Cost to Release an App?

QuarkXPress 9.1 is a free upgrade to users with current QuarkXpress 9.0 licenses, which will cost US$ 299 for owners of older pre 9.x versions. Meanwhile, a full license will cost US$ 799. However, publishers would also have to foot the bill for the following expenses:

  • US$ 149 for a template license
  • US$ 349 for a one-issue license pack
  • US$ 99 for an Apple iOS Developer Program membership (if you don't already have one).

In total, releasing a branded iPad application would cost users about US$ 598. Educational institutions get a discount, and can publish an entire year's iPad magazine for US$ 447. Meanwhile, an individual student can get started for just US$ 50.