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What does the popularity of 7-inch tablets mean for the publishing industry?


By James Sturdivant | for Publishing Business Today [1]

Amazon Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, tablets [2]In September, Amazon announced several new tablets [3], including the 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, which, along with Microsoft’s new Surface tablet, are expected give Apple’s iPad mini a run for its money this holiday season. Appearing along with the Kindle Fire HD at launch were new tablet editions of Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic, and several Condé Nast titles, all powered by Adobe’s digital publishing software and optimized for the Fire’s 4G LTE wireless and Wi-Fi, HD display, high-performance processor and dual stereo speakers.

Publishing Business Today asked Lynly Schambers-Lenox [4], Group Product Marketing Manager, Digital Publishing at Adobe, for her take on the new crop of smaller tablets and what they mean for publishers. 

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Publishing Business Today: Why do you think 7-inch devices like the Kindle Fire HD and iPad mini are here to stay?

Schambers-Lenox: Portable, lightweight, support positive reading experience. Clearly Apple felt they needed a smaller tablet that could compete with Kindle Fire in price. Kindle Fire has made significant inroads in penetrating the mid-size tablet space.

[5]Publishing Business Today: What are the unique opportunities for magazine publishers on smaller tablets?

Schambers-Lenox: I think the optimal opportunity is for publishers to widely distribute their content across a wide variety of devices, regardless of size. Hence we are seeing leading publishers make their content available on all leading tablets and smartphones. Adobe is squarely focused on optimizing the publishing process for our customers so they can efficiently create and publish content to iPods, Kindles and iPhones in order to rapidly build their digital readership.

Publishing Business Today: What does Adobe’s DPS [6] offer that is especially tailored to the Kindle Fire HD?

Schambers-Lenox: DPS supports a variety of workflows that make it easy to create content for the Kindle Fire HD. For example, a new feature now available is the ability to scale standard icons and assets to devices of different resolution and screen density. Publishers can create high resolution assets such as the “view” or “download” button in the library, and DPS will auto scale it based on the scale and resolution of the Kindle Fire HD.

Publishing Business Today: As we see smaller tablets integrated into the platform mix, what are some best practices for efficiently publishing content across leading devices?

Schambers-Lenox: Adobe supports a process called multi-rendition articles. This technique allows a single folio to look good on both standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) iPod and iPhone device. Best practices regarding this technique include: using PDF format for articles, a vector format for text-based scrolling frame content in a PDF-format article, and a raster format for image-centric slideshows in a PDF-format article. Adobe is supporting its customers by publishing additional best practices and workflow articles on the DPS Developer Center [7].

[8]Publishing Business Today: How will reading experiences continue to evolve as tablet devices proliferate?

Schambers-Lenox: Reading practices are still being formed. Many readers are becoming increasingly comfortable with navigation schemes and the use of interactivity to expand and enhance editorial content. Publishers have to fully understand how readers approach and use their devices, and then design content around that experience. A perfect case in point is the launch of Men’s Health on the iPhone [9], the design that was predicated on the notion that readers were using their iPhones in the gym.

Publishing Business Today: What tablet features and functionality to you anticipate seeing in the near future? How will Adobe help magazine publishers take advantage of these?

Schambers-Lenox:  Adobe works closely with its publishing partners to ensure that they are building features and functions that support the inherent benefits of devices as they are launched.

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