Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Drake - There's An App For That

I subscribe to just a couple fly fishing magazines and am always eager for the fresh copy of The Drake to show up in my mailbox, though the last several issues I've picked up for my iPad mini through The Drake app, available for iPad and iPhone, just to see how it reads and flows from the print version.  I like the digital version a lot and feel that it's a stellar compliment to the magazine.  Navigation is easy page by page and there are some added benefits to the digital version with the ability to add videos to stories along with following up on websites linked within the pages as well. 

Recently Tom Bie and I traded a few emails and he passed along these thoughts on The Drake app...

- None of this happens without a talented, contemporary designer with a keen grasp of how print and digital designs should compliment each other. We are fortunate to be working with Mark Lesh, who has a lot of experience with both, and also happens to be a dedicated flyfisher.

- The two-layer concept of Mag+ (The company we run The Drake app through) is key, allowing you to scroll text without losing the background image. This makes for simple, intuitive navigation, yet offers a viewing experience far surpassing that of a basic flipbook or strictly PDF-designed digi-mag, especially in the iPhone or iPad mini. 

- Allowing users to access all of our advertisers' websites in-app, rather than needing to open a browser, is a huge plus for both users and advertisers, making it a faster, easier, and more streamlined way to get information. 

- As you allude to--embedding video is a huge part of this, especially with so many talented writers and photographers now shooting video as part of their trip. Ryan Peterson's excellent taimen collaboration with John Sherman in the spring issue is a perfect example of that.

- Probably my biggest surprise over the past year is how many foreign digital subscribers we've added. I simply had no idea how many people were interested in flyfishing, or in The Drake, who just didn't want to pay the outrageous shipping costs to send copies overseas.

- Easily one of the biggest benefits—beyond just the ever-growing influence of tablets and smartphones—is the number of people who can now pass along mag content to their friends through social media channels. When I see, for example, someone send out a tweet that includes John Larison's steelhead essay from the winter issue, I know that wouldn't have happened without the app. 

Check out iTunes to purchase The Drake issue by issue or subscribe for the year.

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