Adobe Launches Digital Magazine Viewer

The viewer software for digital magazines will be available on smartphones and iPad-style slate computers and includes features such as image rotation and touch-based navigation.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

June 1, 2010

2 Min Read

Adobe officially launched its digital viewer technology for developers on Tuesday. The software complements Adobe's recently announced Creative Suite 5 collection of design and development applications.

Publishers using CS5 can build digital magazine layouts that contain the same design elements as those in periodicals found on news racks, while also containing interactive capabilities associated with online publications. "It’s safe to say that if you are already working in InDesign CS5, you’ll be well on your way to producing a beautiful digital version of your publication," David Burkett, VP and general manager of creative solutions for Adobe, said in a statement.

Adobe plans to make its latest viewer software available on as many hardware platforms as possible, including smartphones and the emerging market for slate computers like the Apple iPad. The strategy is similar to the company's approach with its PDF format for business document creation. The PDF viewer is widely available at no charge for multiple platforms, while Adobe sells tools for creating documents.

Wired magazine, a Conde Nast publication, built its recently released reader application for the iPad using Adobe's latest technology. The Wired reader, available through Apple's App Store for $4.99, lets readers watch video and slideshows, view 360-degreee images and rotate content in vertical and horizontal modes. Another feature made possible through Adobe technology is touch-based navigation.

Conde Nast launched the reader application starting with Wired's June edition. The publisher plans to offer reader versions of other publications over the coming months. "Our work with Adobe is just beginning," Thomas J. Wallace, editorial director of Conde Nast, said.

Magazine and newspaper publisher are moving quickly into the digital world amid growing demand for reader hardware, such as the iPad, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and other devices. Such hardware has boosted sales of electronic books, which is expected to increase by more than 30% in the June quarter from the first quarter of the year to 15 million units, according to IMS Research. Amazon, which jumpstarted the e-book market in 2007 with the launch of the Kindle, led with a 48% share in the first quarter.

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