08
Jun
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While snooping around the Market this afternoon, I ran into Adobe's newly released product called simply Adobe® Content Viewer. With almost no description and usage instructions, I spent about an hour familiarizing myself with Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite which apparently creates content this Content Viewer is supposed to consume (read: display).

So, what does it mean in layman's terms? Content creators, such as magazine and newspaper publishers, use the Digital Publishing Suite to create distributable versions of their products, and the cross-platform (iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc) Content Viewer lets users sign into their Adobe accounts and view digital subscriptions on their mobile platforms of choice.

View digital publications created using the Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite.

View interactive, richly designed digital publications created using the Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite. After designing publication layouts using Adobe® InDesign® and publishing them, users can share and download content from the Distribution Service of the Digital Publishing Suite using the Adobe® Content Viewer for Android.

The Content Viewer for Android is compatible with both phones and Honeycomb tablets, and the whole experience looks something like this (after signing in with a free Adobe account):

image image

There is only one problem. No matter how hard I tried to find ways of adding subscriptions to my account, I could not for the life of me figure out how and where I could do it. Upon signing in, there is absolutely no UI (seriously, Adobe? This is more than a little frustrating) to do anything at all, except refresh an already blank screen.

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While I appreciate Adobe's efforts to spearhead magazine consumption and serve as a hub on pretty much all of the largest mobile platforms, I don't understand how they could release a product this confusing to the Market and expect people to "just figure it out."

If anyone knows how to get some content (any at all) to show up in this app, the hungry comment box below will eat up your words and ask for dessert. If anybody from Adobe is reading, I've got a bone to pick with you.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • pier

    The qr code is wrong.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Works just fine.

  • jcool

    The reason you're having trouble is that the Content Viewer is not for end users. It's an app designed for publishers using the Digital Publishing suite to test content on their devices. (If you're a DPS user, when you log in the Content Viewer will be populated with the magazine content you've uploaded)

    When a publisher creates a magazine using the platform, they will publish a "branded" content viewer for their magazine to the market. You can see some examples here, if you own a tablet device:

    http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalpublishinggallery/

    Here's one that was published a couple days ago:

    https://market.android.com/details?id=air.com.joelosteenministries.hopefortoday&feature=search_result

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I see. Great - now would it be too much trouble for Adobe to state this in the app's description? /sigh

      • jcool

        Yes, their app description is certainly misleading. When they say "users" in the description, what they really mean is "Digital Publishing Suite users".

        They're definitely still working the kinks out of the platform, but it's going to be a great way to create interactive magazines for multiple platforms. After you've targeted iPad (which, let's face it, everyone is going to right now), it's trivially easy to output an Android version. If publishers adopt this platform, I suspect you'll see a great upswing in high quality magazine content for Android tablets.

  • http://www.picantecreative.com/ Magazine Design

    Anything to facilitate making digital magazine editions cross-platform and open up the Android market further is a positive development for everyone — except maybe Apple. The more ubiquitous tablet mags become in terms of availability, the faster they'll be adopted in large numbers. Nice work, Adobe!

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