Are you a publisher with great content - either in magazines or blog articles - struggling to get your content onto a mobile app?
In this post, we are going to compare two of the best mobile app solutions for publishers: Mag+ and MobiLoud. Both are very different solutions for different use cases - read on and we’ll explain why.
We’ll look at how these platforms work, key similarities and differences, pricing, customer reviews and ultimately which is right for building your digital magazine, news, or content app.
Ultimately we’ll see that:Mag+ is right for you if:
- You want to publish InDesign based content through your own mobile apps
- You have an edition-based publication
MobiLoud is right for you if:
- You want your news website’s content to be immediately available in a native app
- You already have an established WordPress website and want to convert it to a new native channel
Let’s begin by taking a look at Mag+ and what they offer digital publishers.
Mag+ is a digital publishing platform that lets publishers create and distribute digital editions to tablet and smartphone apps.
Mag+ is for publishers who use Adobe InDesign to create digital editions of magazines, product catalogs, brochures or other media traditionally seen in print but with the added richness of digital media.
1. Use your own InDesign creations
Mag+ is based around a powerful plugin for Adobe InDesign. They describe their plugin as ‘simple and easy to use’. This is true if you’re experienced with the InDesign platform. InDesign is known to have a steep learning curve for beginners, so if you and your team are experienced graphic designers, using Mag+ will be relatively easy.The Mag+ plugin allows you to take your pre-existing designs, like the ones you’d use for print publication, and add interactivity and digital only features to the design and functionality.
You can add all kinds of rich digital features to your editions, such as:
- Audio and video
- Scrollable content
Anything you can create in HTML can also be added to the layout - adding a range of potential customization options. Throughout the creation process you can preview your designs in real time using the Mag+ Reviewer, seeing exactly what your end users will see. This is a very helpful feature.
The Mag+ plugin offers a full suite of features to enrich your publications and add to the reader’s experience.
2. Organize your content into Editions and Issues
When you’re happy with how your digital designs look, it's time to move over to Mag+'s Production Tool.
Here, you can upload your InDesign files and package them into issue bundles for publishing.
If your workflow consists of issue based publishing, Mag+ makes publishing digitally easy.
3. Automatic App Creation
The final step in creating an app with Mag+ is using their Publish Portal. This is where you build, manage, and distribute your apps to the Google Play, iOS, and Kindle Fire app stores.
Through the Publish Portal you can customize the look and feel of the apps by defining images, colors, symbols, icons and the navigation structure, handle your subscription model and manage in app purchases.
If you want to use advertising in your app, Mag+ integrates with AdMob/DFP or AdMarvel/AdColony, so you can display static or video advertisements within your app and content.When you’re happy with the apps the Publishing Portal will build the apps on the Mag+ servers, and they’re often built within a matter of minutes if there are no errors.
You’ll need to submit the app to the App Stores yourself under your own developer account. Mag+ offer guidance on this and tips for success but they don’t take on the task of publishing for you.
Mag+ is ideal for creating digital ‘editions’ for magazine and news publishers rather than offering an app that displays new content and articles that are regularly published on a website. You design your content using simple tools, build your own branded mobile app on the mag+ web portal, and distribute your designed content to that app for your audience to experience on their mobile devices.
For edition-based content publishing Mag+ offer a solid mobile publishing solution.
There are two main mag+ pricing plans: Multi and Multi-Pro, which cost:
- $499/mo for Multi
- $699/mo for Multi-Pro
Both packages give you unlimited issues you can publish on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire, inside one branded app per platform. They also support the Adobe InDesign plugin and HTML support, as well as analytics tools and in-app advertising.
- A Graphic designer writing on Capterra is very happy with Mag+. They love that Mag+ "provides full creative control and flexibility, a choice of distribution methods, secure internal delivery, Remote Design Review, Video, and Audio, Full Embedded HTML Support and many other useful features".
- We’ve already seen that Mag+ is perfect for Indesign based workflows, and the reviewer goes on to confirm this by stating that: "Mag+ works like a pro…as an InDesign expert, I like mag+, it's an easy App Creating Solution”.
- Another designer explains that "the interface is extremely understandable and straight forward, especially if you are an Adobe user".
- Nevertheless, "a downside is the price, however, with all the features you get alongside as well as the ease of use, it’s worth it".
- Finally, a reviewer from the finance industry is happy that Mag+ "provides a variety of design tools and features for users to create mobile apps."
- However, the reviewer goes on to explain that "as a new user, it took me a while to understand how each feature works and how to update, save, etc."
MobiLoud is the ideal solution for WordPress based digital publishers to create a custom mobile app for iOS and Android. We work with digital news publishers, large news organizations, and established bloggers who’ve built an audience on the web, and now want their presence compliment that with a mobile app.[
MobiLoud is a Done-For-You service, with everything done for you from development to publishing the app, to ongoing maintenance and updates. This frees up your time and energy to work on your core task of creating winning content for your readers.
MobiLoud is a single-source publishing platform fully integrated with WordPress. We take your existing content and repackage it into a custom app that automatically updates with changes or new content on your site.
You don’t have to worry about maintaining a new channel. The app is an extension of your established WordPress site, so you get to keep doing what already works with no disruption to your existing workflow.
You can relax knowing that our personalized, around the clock support will never leave your side and any updates or maintenance needed will be dealt with swiftly.
1. Personalized and Done-For-You
The process begins with a consultation with our team. We go over your specific requirements, and when everything is completely clear we get to work on building it. All of your existing website functionality or WordPress plugins can work within your app too, so there's no need to compromise on your existing web experience for readers.
You can preview the app to make sure you’re totally happy with everything - then we’ll get to work on publishing it - which we handle for you.
2. Advertising, Subscriptions, and Push Notification Support
MobiLoud supports a number of mobile app specific advertising platforms to help monetize your mobile traffic using banners, full screen, and native ads. Your app has built-in support for Facebook Audience Network, Admob, Google DFP, and Mopub.
With a mobile app you can sell subscriptions to give your most loyal readers extra content or an ad-free experience - and also offer a much better mobile experience to your existing subscribers which helps with retention.
You can also engage your users on their smartphones with Push Notifications; improving retention and traffic to your content. You can send push notifications automatically whenever you post new content or these can be sent manually.
Your app will also be fully integrated with OneSignal, so you can send and schedule push notifications from a single dashboard.
3. Automatically Updates With Your Latest Content
A clear difference between Mag+ and MobiLoud is the way that your content is published to the app.
With Mag+ you publish in editions, meaning you choose when to publish a selection of content.
MobiLoud is designed for publishers who want an app that updates live with their website. Whenever you post new content on your website, it updates in your app making it ideal for regular mobile publishing.
With MobiLoud you'll have a powerful new channel to drive real results for your business, like:
- More engaged mobile readers and higher pageviews
- Increased ad revenue
- Increased subscription revenue
- Stronger brand image
You can manage your app going forward directly through your WordPress dashboard, and you’ll get round the clock support from our team if any updates or maintenance is needed.
MobiLoud provides a low hassle but highly effective custom mobile app solution established digital publishers.
MobiLoud operates on a tiered pricing structure.Different price plans include different features for higher traffic news apps such as:
- Monetization through subscriptions and in-app ads
- Integration with third party SDKs for advertising and analytics
- CDN and caching
- Support for higher or even limitless traffic
- Priority support for launch, promotion and monetization
There’s no risk with our 60 day money back guarantee. Price includes all development, configuration, publishing and maintenance. For more detailed information about MobiLoud pricing click here.
Let's take a look at what customers have to say about each.
- Walter's app has became their company's top advertising revenue source: "The guys at customer support are good about getting you what you need. It has also grown our advertising revenue as we can use the app with Adsense and that has become our top performing advertising platform via the app."
- Another reviewer from an agency loves the simplicity - "You only need to create your WordPress responsive site. After that, MobiLoud will take care of the rest. In just a few days you will have your app working on both platforms, iOS and Android”.
- They did experience a few issues with the app during setup, but "They were solved without any problem by their customer support”.Our support is a common thread when looking over customer reviews.
- Another reviewer from a consultancy enjoyed the "Minor effort to create an app from a WordPress installation. Just some problems while trying to upload the app to the app stores, but everything solved thanks to MobiLoud support".
- Stephan W, a vice president of client services sums up the key benefits of service, writing: “MobiLoud was all about getting content out of WordPress and into a native app specifically branded for us - this was by far the most important thing for us”.
- He goes on to comment on the ease of ongoing management and support, stating that: “The ability to manage it all via a plugin in our WordPress Admin Panel just sealed the deal. They work tirelessly with you to ensure you are happy with your apps. We can't recommend MobiLoud enough”.
We encourage you to read the original reviews and many more here.
Both MobiLoud and Mag+ are specifically used by publishers to create mobile apps for iOS and Android. However, they differ in some significant ways, and are ideal solutions for two different types of publisher.
Is Mag+ right for you?
If you already use InDesign to create editions and want to build an app to showcase those editions on mobile, then Mag+ is an ideal solution.
You’re able to make a good looking mobile edition by using the same Adobe InDesign layout and templates that you already use.
Mag+ is less useful for users unfamiliar with Adobe InDesign, or who don't publish editions.
Is MobiLoud right for you?
For publishers who want an app that stays up to date with their website content, then MobiLoud is for you.
You get a team of developers and app experts at your service to make your app a success. You can build an app with the website you already have - there’s nothing new to learn and nothing laborious to add to your current workflow.
You get a powerful app that offers the same features as a top publisher like CNN or the New York Times - at a fraction of the cost a traditional app development agency would charge.Our solution offers a suite of features that includes everything you need to fully utilize your app.
The other key difference - unlike mag+ is that MobiLoud is a Done-For-You service. Everything is configured, customized, built, and published for you and to your exact specifications. We also take care of maintaining and updating it over time. We test your app extensively and publish it for you on both app stores.
We hope that this article has been informative and the key differences between the two are now clearHead over to Mag+ if you’re an InDesign based digital edition publisher.
If you run a successful WordPress site and want to give your readers a rich native experience and grow your brand, schedule a demo with one of our experts today.