The digital publishing revolution is upon us, and we have been busily creating our own iPad version just for you.

The Macworld Express iPad app takes content from our website and magazine and presents it in a fun and interactive way.

We worked with Grapple, a fast-growing app developer with impressive credentials – the company has already worked with high-profile clients such as BT, Xbox and T-Mobile. More than anything else, we were impressed with Grapple’s ideas. We wanted to find a partner who could bring our concept to life, and help us deliver a great-looking, intuitive design that met the needs of the Macworld audience.

For instance, while some iPad apps are only viewable in one orientation, many iPad users view the device in both portrait and landscape and we wanted to cater for both. But rather than snapping from one to the other, we wanted a gentle transition where elements on the page moved into place. This isn’t a straightforward thing to develop, but Grapple was able to produce the transition we wanted, allowing the switch from portrait to landscape, and vice versa, to happen seamlessly.

We added quite a few extra features during this period, including a section preview pop-up on the bottom navigation

The development process

The development process took four months in total. We started off by sketching countless ideas of how the main framework could look, before moving on to more complete wireframes. Once the basic template had been agreed, Macworld’s art editor started work on the final designs, with a brief to keep Macworld Express consistent with the Macworld brand, but to produce something unique and distinctive for the iPad.

Developing those designs into a functioning iPad app took around two months. You can build apps faster, but Grapple produced the app using native Objective-C, a necessity to make the most of the capabilities of the iPad OS without cutting any corners.

During this time, Grapple delivered working previews on a weekly basis. This proved extremely important. It’s only through live previews of apps that you can spot areas that can be improved. We added quite a few extra features during this period, including a section preview pop-up on the bottom navigation, and refined quite a few others.

Why this type of iPad app?

A number of traditional magazine apps are already available for viewing on the iPad. Indeed, Macworld magazine is available via Zinio for those who prefer to read the world’s most popular Mac magazine on a tablet.

But what we wanted to do with Macworld Express was develop an app that could deliver all of the best content from Macworld in real time, and present it in a way that best exploited the iPad’s capabilities.

Indeed, many of the best features in Macworld Express aren’t available in print or online editions, so we decided to build a customised app that would take the title beyond what is currently available from print and online.

With Macworld Express you can read the latest news, reviews, blogs and tutorials wherever you are, and save articles for viewing even when your iPad’s not online. Furthermore, we’ve built in spotlights on particular topic areas, so if you’re interested in news and reviews on all things iPhone-related, there’s a dedicated area within the app for you. Furthermore, we wanted the app to be customisable – if you’re more interested in news than reviews, change your personal MyMacworld content page so news articles are given precedence on the contents page.