Requirements: The customer wanted an application for reading the Paris Capitale magazine on the iPad. It had to be integrated into Apple’s iOS Newsstand, provide the ability to purchase and download magazine issues, and allow the user to sign up for subscription.
Challenge: The most complex issue of the application is in delivering and presenting content to the user. Each magazine consists of a large-sized PDF file with many images and other data. Therefore, the magazine should be downloaded to the iPad in chunks and allow the user to read already downloaded chunks, without waiting for the whole downloading to be finished. Another part of the challenge is presenting the magazine smoothly with fluent UI.
Solution: The downloading of magazine PDF files was decided to organize in a page-by-page manner. The publisher uploads a large file to the server, the server splits it in chunks by pages, and the iPad downloads the pages. Pages that are successfully downloaded can be read on the device. To ensure a good reading experience, the team created a custom PDF viewer based on CoreGraphics, and put many efforts into usability and memory usage. The team also studied Adobe Acrobat software and created a special action for this application to optimize magazines especially for the iPad for even a better performance.
Results: The team of developers created a truly outstanding application for the luxury magazine Paris Capitale. It works with Apple’s Newsstand, downloads magazine issues in background, delivers a great reading experience even on the original iPad device. Users can also purchase back issues of the magazine as well as subscribe to new ones, view their library, manage issues on their devices. In general, the app offers a blend of possibilities for reading the magazine: to swipe through pages, pinch-zoom, add favorites, tweak display brightness settings, and more.
Back office: The main idea of the back office is to make user-friendly administration part for uploading and managing PDF files and cover image of the magazine. There was built a simple site with all the required logic and minimum graphics. It allows to uploading PDF files and cover image, creating table and publishing the magazine. It also allows administrator to edit all the data. The site is built using Microsoft .NET MVC 4 and is hosted on the IIS 7.5 Server. The access to the site is protected by username and password authentication.