FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

With the introduction of iPhoneOS with the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and the forthcoming iPad, a different method of using mobile computing devices has come about.

The iPhoneOS is a ‘closed ecosphere’ for users in terms that it is a tightly controlled environment where it is not easy for users to download and keep documents like PDFs and Word files on their phone.

The iPhoneOS was designed to be simplistic for consumers and hence it has become very popular. The iPhone is capable without special software of displaying PDFs, Word files and many other popular document formats.

The inbuilt Safari web browser can view any of these without assistance, but the user can not download these documents to their iPhone for later reference.

Apple has assumed a world where everyone has switched on mobile internet and can afford to pay the cost of reloading the document every time they want to view it. A very US centric view of the world unfortunately.

In New Zealand and other parts of the world this isn’t practical.

The only method Apple provide natively was that users must email themselves a support document and leave it inside their mail archive to be viewed as part of the mail message stored in the Mail app.

What a pain!

The other methods many third party vendors have adopted is delivering file sharing applications with inbuilt reader capabilities for the supporting documents. This means a user must pay for another application (or find a suitable free one), download it, and then connect their PC/Mac wirelessly using a variety of methods to transfer a document across. None of this uses the intuitive syncing method iTunes has with the iPhoneOS to manage applications, ringtones, music, videos and photos.

The documents are sandboxes to the application they are transferred to and can’t be shared with any other applications. The user must be involved in the procurement of different software, and syncing by hand to each different application, depending on their preference and document format involved.

Yet again a pain!

The solution - build the document as part of it’s own application and make it available directly on the iTunes AppStore.

This method has worked so successfully that bundled ebook applications are by volume the biggest group of applications on the iTunes AppStore. They can be acquired directly on the iPhone using wireless or 3G internet access or using iTunes on a user’s PC/Mac and synced directly to the phone.

Ebook apps can be shipped for FREE to users, allowing companies and organisations to provide product catalogs, annual reports, brochures and other material in this easy to use form.

A simple link on a company website can initiate the link to the iTunes AppStore and allow the user to download the ebook app directly.

This process is so painless that publishers, such as FSpace Publications sell more iPhone Ebook apps than it does of traditional ebooks via any other channel or file format (such as ePub, Mobipocket and PDF or through channels like Amazon).

It is a proven model to get your published content to your audience using this innovative and popular platform.

How do you go about getting your content into this form?

You need an ebook application engine written for the iPhone, and a paid iPhone Developer account to publish the end result to the iTunes AppStore.

You may either build up the resource in-house for the entire process. Or you get a contractor to build the engine and you put together the resources in-house to adapt publications to the engine, package up the product and upload it to Apple.

Or you may pay another firm to do all the publishing work for you.

24x7design/FSpace Publications as a specialist in digital publishing, a registered Apple iPhone business developer and registered New Zealand publisher can offer you this iPhone publishing service either as a standalone service or as part of a broader publishing or design service offering.

We have developed a range of ebook engines that suit different media on the iPhone and include support for the forthcoming iPad.

We have a proven track record with 50 publications in the market place, as commercial book products, both materials under license from authors, plus intellectual property owned by the owner of the company. This covers both non-fiction, fiction and children’s works.

For the corporate or government customer wanting to make their publication accessible to the general public free of charge, we can provide a very minimal service fee. For a typical Word or PDF reproduction we charge fee of $120+gst per publication for the adaptation to this format, including upload for release by Apple. They can be amended at a later date, at which time the same fee is charged. If you’d like your work converted into one of our more dynamic book engines, this is often a manual task and we charge $90+gst per hour.

We charge an ongoing fee per client per year of $99+gst to keep all your free content available, no matter how many publications you do with us.

Why does this fee exist? Apple charges it’s developers a charge every year to be on the service, so offerings stay on only as long as we pay to do so. We are just passing the cost on.

By using a vendor such as us, you get to benefit from our ongoing development into ebook engines and our different offerings. This means you get to benefit from the latest version of our engine, and are paying dramatically less than you would to do this kind of work in-house or with a contracted developer. You’re paying a small annual fee and a fixed fee charge for conversion using our popular engine offerings.

It’s cheap, affordable and positions your organisation to a growing market segment of both smartphone users (on the iPhone) and a mixed market including youths (on the iPod Touch).

Making this available and combining it with appropriate marketing and communications can help position your organisation in a more accessible and mobile technology space.

Empower your audience today.

Give it a go. A single publication with a single year fee is less than $219+gst.

An extremely cheap communications channel to try.

Talk to us today about how to work with us and get the best value from this channel, while leveraging your traditional publishing and communications resources today.

Categories: iPhone Support

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