Quark Updates AppStudio for Interactive Mobile Publication Creation

Faced with the dominance of of Adobe's InDesign as the tool of choice for creating publication-driven mobile apps, in September of 2011 Quark released its own approach to app creation. Version 9.1 of XPress included the HTML5-driven AppStudio, which let users create apps and distribute them through the Apple App Store or Google Play. That's handy enough but more significantly it also made it possible for users to design and publish content, such as ongoing issues of a magazine, that could be purchased and downloaded from within the apps. The publishing solution is said to be suitable for everything from newspapers and magazines, to eBooks, reports, sales tools and product information.

Without writing a line of code, designers can generate apps by first creating content using dedicated vertical and horizontal orientations, as well as interactive elements, in QuarkXPress or, curiously, Adobe InDesign. They then generate the branded app using App Studio Factory and test it using AppStudio Issue Previewer. Up to this point, everything in the process is free. Costs arrive when the user actually publishes the app via the AppStudio Publishing Portal. The Portal makes it possible for users to manage their apps and issue files, as well as track sales. Prices vary depending on needs, so it's best to check them out on the Quark site. At a minimum this would require a one-time payment of $199.95 to create a single app, rising to $499.95 per month for the ability to create unlimited issues for a single publication on all supported platforms.

According to Quark, the latest version of AppStudio "represents a ground-up redesign that embraces the simplicity, elegance and user experience principles embodied by iOS 7." This manifests itself in a number of ways, notably a redesign of the Store Page; enhanced navigation within apps; the ability to control the color scheme used throughout an app via Theming (to be "very soon" extended to fonts, icons and labels); direct access to the native sharing capabilities of iOS 7; and revised bookmarking and note taking.

A trial version can be downloaded on the AppStudio site.