Mixmag goes digital
The Mixmag Global app is a digital adaptation of the popular London, U.K.-based dance music magazine, and allows users to download and read special digital “editions” of the magazine on their iOS device. The app is a Universal download, and adapts its display accordingly depending on whether the user is reading on an iPhone/iPod or iPad.
The initial app download does not come with any content pre-loaded. At the time of writing, there is only a single “edition” available for download, and that is free. Judging from the last page of the current edition, the intention appears to be to release new editions for free fortnightly. Each edition provides a limited selection of content — the currently-available edition only has 17 pages in total — and is presumably intended more as a promotional vehicle for the full digital magazine, which is available as a separate download.
When an edition has been downloaded, the user may begin reading it. The app makes use of common iOS interface conventions such as swiping to navigate through pages and double-tapping to zoom in on a specific part of the screen. This latter function is all but essential for readability on the small screen of the iPhone/iPod, but the larger screen of the iPad — particularly newer Retina display devices — is ample for most people to be able to read the text without zooming.
While reading, the user has access to a number of options. A search function allows users to look for specific content in the edition they are currently browsing, while a bookmark feature allows them to mark specific pages to come back to later. A share function also provides a social element: a screenshot of an individual page may be sent via email, Twitter or Facebook, though this functionality doesn’t seem to be quite perfect at present — the currently-available edition provides boilerplate “description missing” text when attempting to share via email, for example. The image of the page itself shares fine, but the missing content looks a little unprofessional.
The main interface may be dismissed while reading, allowing for an uninterrupted view of the magazine. While in this “full-screen” mode, users have access to a couple of additional features, most notable among which is the thumbnail navigation option. By swiping up from the bottom of the screen, users may browse back and forth through visual depictions of the magazine’s pages, or alternatively switch to their bookmarks and quickly jump to pages they specifically marked in an earlier session.
On the whole, Mixmag Global may have a few minor flaws at this time, but it serves its purpose well. The content available in the free editions looks set to give prospective readers of the full Mixmag digital magazine a good taste of the sort of material they can expect, and the app’s interface is simple, clear and intuitively designed. It’s a good template for other publishers to follow and could very easily be applied to other genres of content without too much difficulty.
You can follow Mixmag Global’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.