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BMJ Publishes First Web App with PressRun

Press release from the issuing company

Quark announced today that the BMJ (British Medical Journal) produced their first Web Application with PressRun, the leading tablet and mobile publishing solution that uses HTML5 and XML-based workflows to deliver interactive experiences across multiple devices. The BMJ tablet app is optimized for use on the iPad and is free to subscribers and British Medical Association members without an iTunes account.

The BMJ is the first general medical journal to offer a Web application (http://www.bmj.com/tablet) to its subscribers. It is now offered in addition to a best-in-class iPad app launched in 2010, also produced with PressRun (http://www.pressrun.com/clients/bmj-british-medical-journal/), that has achieved an impressive 40,000 downloads. Thanks to the new tablet app, BMJ’s subscribers can access the journal directly from the Web browser on their iPad and enjoy a digital interactive experience with video and audio. With key content from the weekly print issue designed for tablet reading, the BMJ tablet app also allows offline reading.

David Payne, Editor of bmj.com, explains, “The future of medical information is mobile, and the BMJ is investing in its mobile presence. Following the launch of our iTunes app 18 months ago, the journal is now available free to tablet users as part of a personal or institutional subscription. With the new Web app our users can read the BMJ on the iPad without the need for an iTunes account, and without having to download an entire app on to their device or wait for the entire issue to download before they can read an article.”

With about 40 percent of mobile traffic to bmj.com coming from iPad users and just over 17 percent originating from mobile devices with Android operating systems*, the BMJ Group opted for Apple’s tablet as the first device to implement their cutting-edge digital publishing strategy, but thanks to PressRun’s HTML5 cross-platform capabilities, BMJ can quickly and easily be deployed to new devices and operating systems in the future.

Payne said, “The BMJ has a proud history of ‘firsts’ when it comes to digital access. It was the first major general medical journal to have a full text website in 1998, the first to create an iPad app in 2010, the first to move to the Apple Newsstand in 2011, and the first to offer a Web application. Our digital publishing partnership with PressRun means that we can confidently look forward to extending our reach to other tablets in the near future.”

With an XML-based content production workflow, BMJ easily migrated to the new platform by repurposing media-independent components of information without using further internal resources or needing to build in extra time for the new publishing channel. BMJ’s content strategy allows for articles, pictures, videos, audio, and graphics to be output to XML and delivered automatically to the Web app via PressRun, thus eliminating costly manual operations. The ability to publish their content directly on the iPad, bypassing the App Store approval process, also means that BMJ’s tablet app readers have the most up-to-date content and timely app updates.

Shaun Barriball, Vice President of Mobile at Quark, said, “It is a pleasure to work with innovative publishers like the BMJ, who are determined to give their readers the best experience in digital and mobile. At Quark we are passionate about the future of HTML5 and take full advantage of what it offers. It’s simply the fastest and easiest way to create a highly customized, rich and consistent experience across many platforms – all driven from tools publishers already use every day, such as InDesign and even XML feeds. Because PressRun takes advantage of what each device already does best, the lead-time to support a new device is extremely low – which means our customers can roll out custom app experiences on new devices faster than ever before.”

The new BMJ tablet app provides the weekly BMJ print journal's selection of research, commentary, and education, specifically designed for offline tablet reading. It is free to all current BMJ institutional and personal subscribers and BMA members and is available via the Safari browser at http://bmj.com/tablet (currently only accessible to iPad users). Users are advised to save to their iPad Home Screen while in the library for the best user experience.

*according to mobile traffic figures for May 2012 provided by bmj.com. For more details please see http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4877 and http://www.bmj.com/highwire/filestream/594697/field_highwire_fragment_image_l/0.jpg


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