Quark has announced the availability of QuarkXPress 9.1, a free update to QuarkXPress 9 that features the promised App Studio feature.

App Studio is an additional feature to help designers create apps for the iPad as well as design and publish content that can be purchased and downloaded through the apps. You don't need any coding or other app-creation skills to create the apps with App Studio, Quark claims.

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“The proliferation of digital devices has created significant challenges for designers and publishers who not only need to get to the iPad, but who want to offer their readers an innovative, cutting-edge experience,” said Gavin Drake, vice president of marketing for Quark.

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“With App Studio we eliminate the biggest hurdles by offering a solution that designers can manage without requiring programming and that is affordable. Just as importantly, our pricing model doesn’t lock customers into monthly subscriptions, download costs, or revenue shares with Quark, which means taking the first step into iPad publishing doesn’t require a long term commitment.”

In terms of pricing structure, a designer creating an app for a one-time single issue would purchase from Quark the app template licence, which costs £95 and a one-issue licence pack, which costs £255. In this example, the fees from Quark equal £350, plus the designer will need Apple iOS Developer Program membership, which costs $99.

Quark is also providing discounts of up to 90 percent for App Studio users in education. More details can be found on the Quark website.

If you're not an existing QuarkXPress 9 user you can trial a free, fully functional, 30-day Test Drive version. Even if you have already completed a 30-day trial of QuarkXPress 9 you can take another 30-day Test Drive, this time with QuarkXPress 9.1, to experience App Studio.

QuarkXPress 9 costs £779 or £279 if you are upgrading from QuarkXPress 8.