Monday Roundup: Mobile edition

Magazine store for tablets to launch early next year, but will only support Android devices

Think of Next Issue Media as a “Hulu for magazines.” It’s an effort to sell digital copies of some of the nation’s top periodicals, and the publishers of those periodicals are part of the venture.

But if you were planning to enjoy the new digital newsstand service on your iPad, you’re out of luck, at least for now.

Peter Kafka of AllThingsD reported Thursday that the service will launch in early 2011 — exclusively for the emerging Android tablet market.

On the surface, Morgan Guenther, the venture’s CEO, says the decision to not support the iPad was not technical.

It’s not a technical issue, Guenther says, because “we’re ready to support Apple as well,” and he says he’s confident that will happen. But “Android is a very important tablet platform, and a very important platform for smartphones.”

But Kafka said that many publishers would like to access subscriber data, among other things — something currently not supported by Apple.

Ethan Klapper

Profs: ‘Don’t dismiss smartphones for quality video news’

Mobile isn’t just a distribution platform for journalism. It can be a tool for reporting too. This isn’t a new topic, but as more and more gizmos and gadgets hit the market, it looks like the idea is gaining steam: a smartphone legitimately can be used for in-depth, quality news video.

The best example of what new gadgets are capable of? This short film, “The Commuter.” Nokia, who released the film, says it was shot and made all on their new N8 smartphone.

Steven Outing, founder and director of the Digital Media Test Kitchen at University of Colorado at Boulder, posted a few nice thoughts about this in a recent blog post. Be sure to check out journalism professor’s Mindy McAdam’s comment below the piece for an old but helpful link on how to shoot in sequence.

Outing’s post also links out to Digital Media Test Kitchen’s “In-depth News for Smartphone” report, a must-read which outlines a well-rounded case for “presenting big news on small smartphones.”

1140px grid: Fluid all the way down to a mobile version

This week I stumbled upon a new 12-column grid design system that’s 1140 pixels wide and adaptable across browsers and devices. If you’re not familiar with the grid system, it’s best explained as a flexible, column-based CSS guideline for web design, adapted from the typographic grid system for print. I trace the popularity of the grid system on the web to Khoi Vinh, recently-resigned design director of The New York Times.

What I like about the 1140px-wide grid system is that, unlike the highly popular 96-pixel grid system, it adapts better to wide screens, and fluidly adapts to the browser being used. For example, when a site that uses the grid on the iPhone, instead of having to pinch into the screen and zoom, the columns stack on top of each other in an easily-digestible format.

You can download the package, which includes the multiple stylesheets (for smaller screens, Internet Explorer, mobile browsers, etc). There’s also a Photoshop template for mockups. I’d love to see a new site built off the grid system.

Lauren M. Rabaino