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Mag+ to offer new iPad Retina-display-resolution digital publishing by late March

Digital publishing service Mag+ has announced that its users will be able to produce high-resolution magazine and book apps for the new iPad within a few weeks.

"By late March, Mag+ will give creatives the ability to build a native resolution issue for the new iPad in addition to an issue that will render natively on older iPads, and of course older issues will simply scale up on new iPads," Mag+'s chief product officer, Mike Haney, told us. "The backend will intelligently deliver the right issue file to the right device, so iPad 2 owners aren't downloading an HD file."

Mag+ publications are designed using Adobe InDesign CS5 or 5.5, with a plug-in used to add interactive functionality for iPad and Android tablets.Publications such as this digital version of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography will soon be able to show higher resolution images on the new iPad.

One concern for publishers has been the file size that buyers of digital books and magazines would have to download to take advantage of the four-times-higher resolution of the new iPad.

"It's impossible to estimate file sizes at this time," says Haney, "and our current customer issue sizes range from 50MB to 400MB. While HD images and video will of course increase the file size, Mag+ already has smaller-than-average file sizes thanks to its single-layout for both orientations feature. And there are many settings the designer can take advantage of to make the files as compact as possible without sacrificing quality."

When asked what opportunities the new iPad offers designers, Haney says that "the new screen will be a huge boon to digital publications, as it will give them the best canvas they've ever had for images, either in print or digital. It will drive creatives to make even more visually engaging publications for instance, taking advantage of the dual-layer architecture of Mag+ to run images full-screen rather than treating the edges of the screen like the edges of a physical page and shrinking images to fit into a 'print-style' layout."

The news following Adobe's announcement that its Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) will be able to create publications for the new iPad by the time it launches next week.

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