updated 09:10 pm EDT, Thu October 7, 2010
Builds App-Store-ready, interactive publications
A Belgian software house has announced a public beta of RovingBird ePublisher, a two-step solution that takes Adobe InDesign CS5 publications and turns them into apps ready for the App Store without users knowing or seeing a single line of code. Interactive features, live links, ad-hoc distribution or submission to the App Store and more can be part of the finished application.
The program consists of two components; a export and interactive-feature module that plugs into InDesign CS5 and allows substitution of static elements for interactive ones (such as live links and picture galleries or video) which then exports the InDesign file to the Builder application that turns the file into an iPad program. An iPad simulator lets users preview how the application will look. Users create InDesign layouts in both horizontal and vertical orientations, then export using the plug-in.
The company will launch two editions of Rovingbird ePublisher on October 19th; a "Standard" version (€1000, or about $1390US) which limits users to previewing the application only; if desired, Rovingbird will then build the app and distribute it (and/or submit it to the App Store) for a cost of €500 ($700) per publication.
The "Advanced" version (€5000/$7000) lets the user build the final app and submit it to the App Store themselves if they wish (or use alternate distribution methods). A "Pro" version offering advanced features like in-app purchasing is planned for December.
The public beta now available limits uses to 4-page publications and no app-building, just previewing. It includes an example file so that testers can see exactly how the process works. The preview relies on the iPad simulator that is part of an iOS SDK, meaning users will need to have an iPhone Developer Account to use the product. Rovingbird ePublisher requires Adobe InDesign CS5, Mac OS X 10.6.4 and the iOS SDK.