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Thread: Need help with strategy/tool selection for mobile pubs

  1. #1
    Web Developer
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Need help with strategy/tool selection for mobile pubs

    Hi, I'm new to this forum and have a few easy questions. I need to come up with a strategy and tool set for developing small interactive catalogs, magazines and illustrated books that run on all popular tablet devices and computers.

    My questions are:

    (1) What tools should I use?
    (2) How should I distribute these e-publications?
    (3) What other issues do I need to be concerned about?

    Ideally these publications would be highly interactive like Virgin's "Project" magazine or the Oprah magazine that runs on the iPad.

    These are the platforms I want to support:
    - web browsers
    - possibly PC and Mac standalone apps
    - iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile
    - Kindle and Nook
    - iPad, iPod Touch

    I want to develop a web-based epub generator that pulls information from an existing web-based database so that a non-technical person can choose a few options on a web site, then click a button that will produce and distribute the e-publication automatically. The publication itself can be static but it would be nice if it could link or interact somehow with online resources for purchases, more info, feedback, facebook/twitter, etc.

    I've done this with HTML newsletters, but now I need files and/or apps that work on mobile devices. I have Adobe CS3 and will probably need to upgrade something.

    I've talked to a couple of people so far. One suggested PDFs and the other suggested Flash. We haven't figured out the Apple piece yet, but I saw a link that looked promising on another thread in this forum.

    Am I on the right track with investing my time in Flash? What tools/versions do I need to produce the Flash apps? Are Kindle and Nook worth supporting? Should I be looking at interactive PDFs as well? Can I build a generic Flash generator that takes varying input including a design template selection and can be delivered with its input selections to a mobile platform? Should the content be downloaded to the device or remain on the web? Can I make the e-publications generic full screen or do I have to produce various fixed stage sizes or can I query the device's screen size in the app?

    Just trying to figure out if I'm on the right track with the technology choices. I appreciate any help you all can provide in getting me started on this. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Web browsers: Flash/Javascript

    PC, Mac, Linux standalone apps: Adobe AIR (or export from Flash IDE)

    iOS (iphones, ipod touch, ipads) applications: Objective-C, Cocoa, C++, C, Javascript (Codeblocks can be a good choice). Apple limits their applications to only C, C++, Objective-C, JavaScript. Adobe's Flash-to-Iphone compiler will not be allowed (for now).

    Blackberry Tablet: Flash AIR (can be exported from Flash IDE I think).
    Blackberry Smartphones: JavaScript/Java, you can also use illustrator/photoshop cs5 to draw optimized graphics. In 2009, Blackberry promised to introduce Flash Player 10.1 to their devices.

    Kindle, Nook: no idea

    Windows Mobile apps: Visual Studio 2010 - programming for Windows Mobile 7, 6.5, 6, 5 (basically all of them)
    Windows Mobile browser: just HTML or Flash?

    Summary: The tools you will find useful in your application include:
    Flash Professional CS5 ++
    Java Eclipse
    A MacBook so you can use Objective-C programming, or learn C, then Objective-C, then C++
    Visual Studio 2010

    You can learn C++ to develop other applications: electronics, linux as well. If you have a look at Adobe TV Flash Platform in Action video series, you can find various tutorials and talks about Flash capability to support multiple screens with one server or build one application and distribute it to many screens.
    Last edited by flashmed; 01-24-2011 at 12:06 AM. Reason: more information

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I just found out about this tool that allows you to convert Flash file to Silverlight and WM7 ready-to-run applications: http://www.silverx.net/. This can also help to refine your tool list.

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