Alongside our The New iPad Buyers’ Guide’s interviews with Geneva Lab and Soundfreaq on speaker-making, our 2012 installment of iDesign also features discussions with leading app developers Bloomberg, Inkling, and Mobile Roadie. While each company focuses on different parts of the market, all three have created some of the best user experiences on Apple’s still young mobile OS, and serve as examples for how to rethink classic media for powerful touchscreen devices.
Unlike the other two featured developers, Bloomberg has its roots in traditional news reporting—but that hasn’t stopped it from wholeheartedly embracing digital distribution of its magazine and news content. “The app was started after the print redesign,” Oke Okaro, Bloomberg’s General Manager & Global Head of Mobile and Connected Devices, said of the company’s BusinessWeek+ app.
“[T]he goal was to reimagine the magazine in an original ‘made for tablet’ experience that preserves the authenticity of the brand and enriches the story telling.” Okaro also discussed the company’s decision to offer certain features and content in separate apps, the benefits of Newsstand, the possibility of Bloomberg on Apple TV, and more.
Founded by a former Apple employee, Inkling’s mission has been to create next-generation books for next-generation platforms—a mission it started long before Apple decided to offer its own solution. “Inkling titles are inherently cross platform,” Inkling CEO and founder Matt MacInnis said of his company’s opportunity to differentiate itself. “Soon, we’ll be offering everything we’ve made for the Web, too, so users without Apple devices will be able to access Inkling.” MacInnis also provides a look at the company’s decision to use cards instead of pages as a paradigm for its books, education adoption, and what’s next for the company.
Unlike traditional iDesign participants, Mobile Roadie doesn’t actually build apps for itself—instead, it provides one of the most popular platforms for companies and individuals looking to expand their mobile presence to a native iOS app. Company CEO and co-founder Michael Schneider told us that in late 2008, his design company was receiving more requests for apps than anything else. “t didn’t make sense to make each app from scratch,” he told us. “Our customers couldn’t afford the $50,000+ price tag and to wait for months.