A startup called Treesaver has developed a slick presentation framework for digital magazines that runs in the browser. It has many of the features you’d expect from a clean, reader-friendly content wrapper (like Instapaper or Readability) but it couples that functionality with a way-cool user interface.
Here’s the demo video for Nomad Editions, the first of Treesaver’s launch partners using the company’s framework to make a public announcement (Treesaver is still pre-launch right now):
Nomad also got some love from The New York Times Wednesday.
With digital magazines all the rage, everyone’s racing to get their traditional paper-and-ink publications onto the iPad. There are two routes — the native app, which requires the use of Apple’s tools and adherence to its rules, or the web app, which lets you do just about whatever you want as long as it works in a browser.
If you build a native app, you get some impressive performance with the swipey-swipey stuff, and you control both the ad revenue and your kerning pairs. But you’re also locked into a specific device’s platform, distribution is a pain, and you’re disconnected from the internet unless you bother to build it in.
The webby route has its own advantages, of course. Filipe Fortes, one of the founders of Treesaver, has posted an excellent list of all the ways the web wins — a wider audience, a wider range of compatible devices, easy access to social networking tools, real hyperlinks, search indexing, content embedding.
Treesaver will be entering beta testing in a few weeks, and the code will be released under an open-source license soon after that.