Our partners at International Color Services (ICS) have been rather busy throughout the summer. The main reason is that we released the next major update to the iCatalog.framework, adding several new features which are nowadays a “must have” for a state-of-the-art digital catalog experience. We call it simply iCatalog+ because it offers way more than just catalogs.
Several catalog clients already have their free iCatalog+ on the App Store, you should definitely check these out.
New functions in the 2.6 version include an expanded interface with tabs to access the catalog library, videos, photo gallery, social media sites and store locator. All iCatalog+ editions support the beautiful Retina display on the new iPad. You can see this new brilliance when viewing catalogs as well as the now much larger catalog covers on the library tab. On high resolutions screens these covers and catalogs really do POP, I argue even more than on glossy paper.
Push Notifications let you know the instant when a new catalog edition is released. This is where the iPhone app comes in that we hope to be releasing to the public soon too: Urban Airship Commander. This has proven invaluable testing and deploying APN via Urban Airship. This app allowed us to test push notifications without having to use the website. Rather it allows to configure test devices and keep sending the same test messages including custom payloads to the app to trigger actions like automatic downloading of the latest available catalog.
Being able to require iOS 5 allowed us to make sweeping improvements on many of the underpinnings of the digital catalog viewer part of iCatalog. You won’t believe the amount of work that went into the migrating the whole thing to ARC. Leaks be gone! Also we needed the new view controller containment that only became available in iOS 5 last year. But use of these modern technologies gives a nice payoff in performance and yields an even smoother overall experience.
The greatest thing about the iCatalog+ solution is that we have the ability of customizing the app sections and design from our server without having to release new versions of the app itself. Add a Pinterest section? No problem!
Recently updated iCatalog+ apps include the following with many more to follow. They are free, go download them now!
As developer we are proud of the iCatalog+ system and our clients love it because of the additional brand engagement this gives them with their store customers. Together we feel that iCatalog+ fulfills its primary mission: to keep pulling users into the app and make their time in it as enjoyable as possible.
I won’t bore you with the intricacies of the “catalog-on-tablet market”. Suffice it to say that some players don’t really play fair. Let me only assert that I believe that iCatalog+ is the cream of the crop of digital catalog solutions.