DESKTOP PUBLISHING OUTFIT Quark today unveiled an update to its Xpress page layout software application, Quark Xpress 9.5, along with a redesigned App Studio which uses HTML 5 so it can be used across mobile devices, including Android and IOS.
Speaking with The INQUIRER, Quark senior product manager Matthias Günther explained that the move to HMTL 5 in the firm's latest edition of App Studio is due to its belief that "HMTL 5 apps will increase in popularity" as the "market for tablet devices in enterprises explodes in 2013".
Quark said HTML 5 support is important so apps can "transfer across" the many different devices on the market, such as the Kindle Fire, Iphone, Ipad and Android devices, enabling quicker deployment of apps to new devices as they are released.
"Publishers don't want to be locked in a proprietary format," Günther said. "We think that's very important for most publishers, and with HTML 5 that's not the case".
Using App Studio, designers can upload through the cloud, allowing authors and extended teams to collaborate and create content that can be delivered across multiple platforms at a much faster rate.
Some of the new features that Quark's new App Studio delivers for designers include the opportunity to create apps that are more intricate and of a higher quality than static PDFs, the ability to promote sharing through social media and smaller file sizes due to the use of HTML 5 for quicker downloading times.
Perhaps controversially, one of the biggest features that Günther announced is that App Studio will now allow users to create customised apps with HTML 5 using its rival's software, Adobe's Indesign, as well as XMLwork, making it the only digital publishing solution to do so. Quark said that this is so larger organisations can combine "richer designs" with XML automation.
With the rollout of App Studio, Quark said that it will replace Pressrun, with users being transitioned to the new App Studio automatically.
Quark Xpress 9.5 with App Studio will come in four different price plans. The cheapest is the single edition, which for £139.95 allows designers to produce one issue for one publication on one IOS device.
The next step up is Quark's Pro multi-issue edition, which allows designers to publish multiple issues for one publication for £69.95 a month for a minimum of a year's contract on IOS devices and Amazon's Kindle Fire. This will allow 1,000 issue downloads a month.
For £349.95 a month, designers can sign up to Quark's Premium multi-issue edition, which is the same as the Pro edition but caters for 2,500 issue downloads a month and also supports Android.
There is also an enterprise edition with XMC automation support, though Quark released no prices for this plan.
However, Quark's price plans reveal a major flaw. Designers wanting to publish a single issue for one publication on Android can only do so by signing up to the Premium multi-issue edition, which will work out to be uneconomical for designers.
Quark said that Android is available only on this level due to the additional engineering costs involved in building the software for Android devices. µ
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