Create as many apps as you want – for free, from your Desktop?

As you might have seen, Quark has introduced QuarkXPress 2017 with the ability to create and export “unlimited”* iOS Single Apps directly out of QuarkXPress.

The advantages of this are:

  •  No need to create a log-in or use a system or portal
  • You create the apps directly from your Desktop out of QuarkXPress
  • You can create the design within your app with the same tool – QuarkXPress – that  you use for print
  • You can even convert Print layouts to digital and show them in your app
  • You can add stunning interactivity
  • All content is 100% HTML5
  • You get the apps delivered to your Desktop as a single delivery, your content is “backed in”
  • You can transfer your app to your test iPad or iPhone
  • You can hand in your app to Apple and – once approved – have it being delivered to your customers via the Apple’s App Store

All you need is QuarkXPress 2017 and an Apple Developer Account. Don’t worry, you won’t have to develop anything, it is Apple’s prerequisite to submit apps to the App Store.

So yes, you can create single apps for iOS directly from your Desktop.

How does it work?

A detailed documentation and video tutorials will be available once QuarkXPress 2017 has been released (in second quarter of 2017).

Here are the steps in a nutshell:

1) Prerequisites

  1. Get a developer account with Apple, which is $99 per year.
  2. Go to Apple’s developer portal and create 4 things, a development & distribution certificate and a development & distribution provisioning profile.
    (On Mac oyu can do that using Keychain, on Windows you will need to install the free OpenSSL)
  3. Go to iTunes Connect, basically the marketing portal for submitting apps to the App Store, and create marketing descriptions etc.
  4. Create an app icon and splash screens for your app

2) Create your app

  1. Create a digital layout in QuarkXPress 2017 (or convert an existing Print layout to a digital one). Optionally add a second layout for the other (vertical/horizontal) orientation.
  2. If you want, add interactivity like animations, audio, video, slideshows (using the HTML5 palette)
  3. Choose File > Export As > iOS App
  4. In the dialog appearing, add the two certificates and the two provisioning profiles. Add all meta data needed, like the app ID provided by Apple in iTunes Connect, the icon and the splash screens you created.
  5. Export your app ( so you need an internet connection then, however no log-in into any system).

3) Test and submit your app

  1. Either wait until the progress bar finishes or let it run in the background. After a while QuarkXPress 2017 will save two apps to your Desktop (or the folder that you specified), a test app and a production app.
  2. On Mac, transfer your test app to your iPad/iPhone, e.g. using iTunes or – my recommendation – “Apple Configurator 2“. On Windows use iTunes please.
  3. Test thoroughly.
  4. If fine, submit your production app to Apple. On Mac, you do that using Application Loader by Apple.
    From Windows you cannot do that, as Apple requires you to use Application Loader, which is only available on MacOS. So you either need to find somebody with a Mac to do that for you or rent a Mac. Here’s an example of a services in the cloud that allow you to rent a Mac for an hour: http://www.macincloud.com/
  5. Wait until Apple approves your app.

Done. And now create the next one.

A video of this can be seen here:

 

 


*Quark’s EULA specifies what “unlimited” means. Basically it is a “fair use” policy, so you can create as many apps as you need for your own use or to create for your customers. Quark e.g. doesn’t allow you to build a system around it, so a service that you pass on to other customers. Also the use is possible as long as QuarkXPress 2017 is the most recent version or the version before the most recent version of QuarkXPress. Afterwards you need to upgrade to a newer version to be able to use app export. All other functionality of QuarkXPress 2017 of course doesn’t have any timed restriction. You need an Apple Developer Account, which costs you an additional fee. And to submit an app to Apple, Apple requires you to use a Mac.

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.

The Best Hidden Features in iOS 7

Verge-iOS7

At The Verge website, Aaron Souppouris wrote a useful and technologically inspiring article: “The best hidden features in iOS 7“.

Besides pointing out some fantastic new features, they’re displayed in a creative, interactive way. Have a look:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/18/4741412/the-best-hidden-features-in-ios-7

Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press

When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.

Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.

In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.

Which fonts are pre-installed on the iPad (and iPhone)?

When creating digital media based on web technology, e.g. HTML5 websites, web apps or ePub3, and which do not have any webfonts embedded or linked, then you rely on the fonts that are pre-installed on devices.

Apple’s iPad (and iPhone) actually have quite an impressive list of fonts pre-installed, for example

  • Arial
  • Avenir (in many faces)
  • Baskerville
  • Futura
  • Gill Sans
  • Helvetica
  • Palatino
  • Snell Roundhand
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet
  • Verdana
  • Zapfino
  • and others

The website iosfonts.com lists all of them and also shows you which version of iOS added them on the iPhone and which on the iPad.

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.

App Store Ranking

When Quark released the technology study of the new DesignPad app, we were absolutely flabbergasted when we saw the App Store Ratings the next day:

#1 in its category in France and Germany, in France even #2 for all free apps.
So before the popular apps of the large social networks, shopping & auction apps and news apps.
And similar results in many other countries for that day.

Of course I (naively?) thought the download rank is just ranking the daily absolute downloads per app.
Sure, for search ranking Apple (like all search engine providers) must use an ingenious formula that Apple – like Google – changes over time:
http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/29/looks-like-apple-has-changed-its-app-store-algorithm-again/

But for download ranks? (which has an obvious effect on the success of your app)

When after the first hype the ranking slowly dropped again and by looking on the absolute numbers I saw some discrepancies of this theory:

(App Store Ranking France for DesignPad)

So I began to wonder how Apple might calculate this, maybe taking absolute numbers or a weighted history into consideration?

Of course and totally understandable there is no public information available for their algorithm, as otherwise it would be open to manipulation. However when searching the web, I came across an interesting study that claims that they have cracked the code for ranking (not Search Optimization). I can’t be sure whether this is the right code and personally I have no insight into Apple’s algorithm, however I thought it is interesting to share this theory:


(Theory of weighted algorithm for Apple’s App Store download ranking)

So the theory is that the downloads of the day is the most influential factors, however the downloads of the past three days are also factored in. You can find the original slide-deck here: http://www.slideshare.net/misteroo/how-to-market-your-app (slide 25)

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.

Issue #3 of Jabber Now Available

Quark’s third quarterly issue of their free iPad magazine app Jabber is filled with useful information and inspirational articles. It’s also a showcase for how people are using QuarkXPress to create impressive iPad apps.

This issue focuses on the business of digital publishing, including articles that illuminate the current landscape for anyone interested in making iPad apps and EPUB-based books.

I was especially impressed by the real-world explanations of “the tech hype cycle”, and delighted that they included my article about their acquisition of Mobile IQ. (It’s also nice that they included an ad for my free book on digital publishing.)

If you’re at all interested in digital publishing, I encourage you to soak up the valuable information in issue #3 of Jabber! Further information is in Quark’s press release is below.

————————

Quark’s iPad Magazine Dedicates Third Issue to Enterprise Digital Publishing

Jabber Explores the Challenges that Corporate Publishers Must Overcome to Create Sustainable, Relevant, and Successful Digital Experiences

DENVER, CO – June 21, 2012 – Quark announced today the availability of the third issue of Jabber, the iPad app for designers and creative professionals that rethinks the digital magazine. Built with QuarkXPress® 9 and App StudioTM, the third issue features even more interactivity that takes advantage of what’s possible with the iPad. With scrollable layouts, slideshows, video, pop-ups, and HTML5, Jabber issue three includes:

  • Advice on getting started with digital publishing and the most important questions to ask when selecting a digital publishing vendor
  • Insight on how the financial services industry is leveraging XML to automate tablet publishing
  • Instruction on how to integrate HTML5 into an iPad app
  • Digital publishing best practices from a leading German retail catalogue publisher
  • Tips for designing for the iPad and much more

Jabber is now available for free on the iTunes Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jabber/id477757782?mt=8.

To learn more about QuarkXPress and App Studio, please visit: http://www.quark.com/Products/AppStudio/.

About Quark

Founded in Denver in 1981, Quark’s vision was to create software that would lay the foundation for modern publishing. For 30 years, Quark has delivered on that promise. Quark’s dynamic publishing solutions are setting new standards in automated cross-media publishing by combining the power of XML with flexible layout and design to automate the delivery of customized, intelligent communications across print, the Web, and digital media.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.