Survey results determine that Magazine Apps are crucial to Librarians

A comprehensive study of worldwide mobile device acquisition revealed that over the past decade “the rate of iOS and Android device adoption has surpassed that of any consumer technology in history”*.

As a digital publishing company specialising in mobile apps, Exact Editions wanted to better understand the function of mobile technology in libraries today and their place in the future. A survey was conducted in January 2015 to a number of librarians worldwide. It quickly became evident that librarians globally are already recognising the sudden increase in students adopting mobile devices for academic purposes. Among our survey 68% of librarians revealed that students frequently used mobile devices to access e-resources in their libraries currently, while all of them answered that this will most definitely increase in the future.

The popularity of mobile technology in libraries is as a result of the increase in students using mobile devices as a source of information. By removing multiple methods of access, Exact Editions have ensured that connection to the apps is as simple as possible through immediate IP authentication. This eradicates the need for lengthy logins requiring a username and password. Most importantly, complete access is enabled when students are off campus through remote/EZ proxy access and Shibboleth for UK institutions.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 17.02.19Cross platform compatibility is a crucial requirement for libraries. Over half of the librarians surveyed estimated that the use of tablets and phones will become more prevalent than desktop resources, while all of them recognised the essential requirement in offering multi platform resources. Indeed with this, students have seamless access and the capacity to read an article on a variety of platforms from online on a desktop, or once the title has downloaded, offline on a mobile device; through apps the students have a 24/7 mobile library. Moreover, the magazines available via Exact Editions are accessible on both Android and iOS devices, again ensuring accessibility is at the forefront of our apps.



During our research the concept of layout was another important concern for librarians. A high 91% of librarians agreed that the publication should maintain the original look of the printed copy. This not only ensures that the content retains an aesthetic quality, but also provides contextual background, a pivotal necessity for much research. Additionally with mobile apps, the ease at which users are able to scroll quickly through the publications pages ensures reading is far more organic. Discovery remains effortless through the provision of ‘stacks’ that provide a fluid channel in which to flick between issues, thus making reading all the more engaging, easy and enjoyable.

The rapid rise in the popularity of mobile technology along with the potent results of the survey, underlines the growing need for information to be available via app technology in libraries.



Digital Reading gets Deeper

Yesterday, after several months of work, The Wire magazine on the Exact Editions platform entered a new phase in which all the back issues are available to all the subscribers as a searchable and browseable resource. If you are an iPad user you need to pick up the freemium app here. It allows users to search all the content for free, and shows the search results in snippet form.

As a digital magazine, The Wire packs a staggering amount of information access into its £29.99 annual digital subscription. There are 353 issues now in the archive, so a very keen reader could just about get through the whole thing in a year. But that is not the way we are now reading stuff digitally. The current version of the Exact Editions platform (version 7.0) is giving more weight to tools which encourage the different style of reading that we are all learning to use with digital publications. I think of them as  the three “S’s”: searching, syncing and sharing.

For example, the latest issue of the Wire has an article about a cool sounding musician Ryoko Akama. Having read the article, I turned to the array of back issues and searched for by name through all the back issues. It turns out that the Wire has been writing about her since 2009 and it is easy for me to then sync and save all the pages on which she is mentioned. Once I have these search results sync-ed they show up on my Bookmarks.


Searches for Ryoko Akama saved and bookmarked for future reference

Since these pages have now been located and are held on the device I can tweet, message or email a reference to any page that I know will appeal to my friends who share an interest in electroacoustic music.

At the top end of the magazine market, publications of real quality are seen as valuable and prestigious publications, either because they are very elegantly and carefully designed and edited, or because they are sources of real expertise on the subjects that they cover. Some magazines are both beautiful and authoritative and those are the magazines that have most to gain from going to a full archive and to choose digital solutions that encourage deep reading.

The App store makes way for Liverpool FC fanzine: The Liverpool Way

The renowned football fanzine, The Liverpool Way, is now available online and on Apple and Android devices.

Now Liverpool FC fans can catch up on the latest antics and discussions simply by downloading the Newsstand App to their Apple device. Bi-Monthly and Annual subscriptions can be bought directly through the App, with new issues being delivered straight to your iPad or iPhone.

A digital subscription bought either through the App or online includes access to all the latest issues and a whole host of back issues.


As standard with Exact Editions, the App allows you to view all the back issues in the latest stacking technology, and bookmark your favourite pages for reading later. It also includes Page Flow allowing the reader to scroll through the magazine at speed to find their favourite column.


Articles from the magazine can also be shared via email, Facebook and Twitter making it easier to share the news with your friends.

To never miss an issue download the App here –

Or you can also buy online here –

Lifestreams and Magazine Streams

David Gelernter has a fascinating essay over at Wired on: The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It. He argues that our web-based spatial metaphors for computing are being replaced by time-based metaphors, or what he calls lifestreams, which are highly individual and instantaneous, which get melded together to form a global worldstream. Some of his commentators think that Gelernter was ‘under the influence’ when he wrote the piece, it is certainly an intriguing and allusive mix:

Until now, the web has been space-based, like a magazine stand; we use spatial terms such as “second from the top on the far left” to identify a particular magazine. A diary, on the other hand, is time-based: One dimension of space has been borrowed to represent time, so we use temporal terms like “Thursday’s entry” or “everything from last spring” to identify entries.

Time as a metaphor may seem obvious now. Especially because it’s natural for us to see our lives as stories, organized by time. The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It

He predicts a world in which our digital experience is much more individual, more transient, more self-narrated, but completely accessible  since it is wholly based on information streams, managed for us by stream browsers, which divert channels from the global information lifestream.

This future doesn’t just kill the operating system, browser, and search as we know it — it changes the meaning of “computer” as we know it, too.

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Are Magazines About to be Forked?

Forking happens in software projects when a developer or group of developers takes code that has been developed by one community for one purpose, and then duplicates that code and takes it off in another direction. Forking an operating system or an ‘open source’ software project or application may be perfectly legal and within the spirit of the free software. For example, Google launched Android as a free and open operating system for mobile software development and more or less invited other companies to adapt and innovate from it. Since Google had given Android an ‘open’ status, Amazon was perfectly within its rights to use this free and open operating system for its own benefit and chuck out the ‘detachable elements’: Google Search, YouTube and Google Maps, that Google would probably like all Android implementations to keep on board. Amazon’s tablet operating system (which it doesn’t call Android) will now, probably, steadily diverge from Google’s to become a different beast.

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