ibuildapp_logo_2011.jpgProductivity apps for the iPad are pouring in, and here comes one from iBuildApp that offers a direct route to self-publishing.

The Practical Pad

We've seen plenty of apps for the iPad now that it is moving on from being a cool gadget to a practical tool. Not only has there been a first glimpse of a true Photoshop app, plus document access and Apple's signature apps, but now we get a self-publishing tool to help companies and individuals publish their content to Apple's App Store.

For those with books, brochures, galleries, music or other digital products to sell, the process is straightforward: Choose a template design, copy and paste your content into it. Add images or galleries and then publish. iBuildApps offers a free publishing service for iPad users and the result is an app containing your content that you can sell, while still being able to modify the content, if needed.

Choose a template and off you go.

Push to Publish

iBuildApp can be tied into other CMS systems such as Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla. Add a snippet of code from iBuildApp to the CMS, and users can reuse existing content. From magazines and books to music and photos, any content can be used and packaged for corporate apps, personal publishing projects or other works.

Once the project is created, there is a spot of form filling and the need to choose a logo for your app, then users need to sign up to the iPhone/iPad developer program (note there is a US$ 99 fee for this) and submit their app for approval. The app must follow Apple's usual criteria, so no misuse of copyrighted material, no dubious content and so on.

On the Store

The result is a slick-looking app that uses page swiping for navigation, as well as the iPad's zoom features for close-up looks and in-app browsing if your document has links to other content. With cross-platform content planned and stats gathering, iBuildApp could become a cost-effective way of getting your company content into marketable form on the App Store.

So far, the app and its results have proved popular with the likes of music labels, film festivals and sports clubs as well as users with more traditional content to publish. While there are lots of web-based or desktop-based app creators, here's one that lets users do everything on the iPad, quickly and neatly.