The future of publishing

BEING a pioneer does have its challenges. All technological issues have to be addressed to ensure that this new publication medium would run smoothly.

The newly-formed The Star iPad team of eight had to be trained to use the new system and the know-how of porting content to the device so that everything – including videos, graphics and photographs – could proceed smoothly.

With the help of Serious Technology Sdn Bhd (the outsourcing company that developed The Star iPad’s app), these issues were ironed out.

Its chief of technology K.G. Wong has seen the app’s evolution since it first started.

“Our polls show that there are between 50,000 and 55,000 downloads of the app every month,” says Wong.

“The Star has sold a lot of advertisements, more than any other local app on the device and compares favourably to those in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Sponsors who have supported the app include Mercedes-Benz, HSBC, Omega, PEMANDU, YES, ntv7, CNM Events, Nikon, Sime Darby, Firefly and Carlsberg.

Wong is certainly well-qualified to make such a statement. His company, after all, boasts an impressive portfolio when it comes to implementing iPad publishing systems and keeping the apps running.

Among them are two media groups in Singapore (one being MediaCorp), two media groups in Vietnam, including the biggest magazine group there called Sun Flower Media, three publications in the Philippines, Kompas Gramedia Group, the largest newspaper group in Indonesia, and Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.

Wong commends the user-friendliness of The Star iPad and its ease of navigation.

He says improvements have been made to enhance the The Star iPad app, such as the ability to start reading articles while the issue is still downloading.

“Even with video content, users should not have problems with the download time as long as the Internet connection is good,” he says.

Wong opines that the iPad is not exactly a necessity, but is something that’s hard to part with once you have it.

“It’s so easy to use that children as young as three know how to operate it.

“The number of applications in the Apple App Store is amazing, with a considerable number of free apps. We call it the leanback device as you can lean back on the bed to read its content,” says Wong, who adds that the iPad continues to be the leading tablet device in the market by a fair margin.

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