Nascent

New Nature.com iPhone app

redux version of this post: we have a new, free iPhone app. Check it out. :)

NPG has a couple of big mobile related announcements going out today.

The first is that we’ll be supporting EPUB, the open standard for ebook readers. DRM free EPUB versions of our articles will be available alongside HTML and PDF making it easy for readers to read content on a device of their choosing. Here’s an example (you may need to right click and ‘Save as…’). We’ll be rolling out EPUB links on newer articles in Nature journal first; look out for them over the next couple of months.

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The second is that we’re releasing free mobile applications for the iPhone (the initial version of which is available right now from the App Store) and Android (coming later in the year). I’ve got a couple of posts about specific features in the iPhone app lined up for later this week.

The two announcements are related: when you read one of our articles in the iPhone app you’re actually looking at the EPUB version which is generated on the fly from our XML content store. If you want to geek out a bit further you may find this talk by NPG’s CTO Howard Ratner interesting.

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished with EPUBs and the mobile app; we designed and built everything in-house, with the mobile apps coming out of our NY office and the EPUB support masterminded by devs in London. As publishers we’ve been surprised at how well scientific articles work on smartphones given the right context… hopefully you’ll find the app useful too.

On that note please do download the app and try it out if you’ve got an iPhone or iPod Touch (or an iPad). This is just the first version of the app and we know there’s already room for improvement (more content, customization and improvements to the way some types of article are rendered, for a start).

We’re actively looking for feedback, so send bugs, suggestions and feature requests to mobile@nature.com and I can guarantee we’ll see what we can do! ;) On that note over the next few months while we catch bugs and work out what users want from mobile apps access to Nature journal and Nature News through the app will be completely free.

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