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A practical glossary about digital magazine apps

Nicola Massa


Fancy a different approach to learning about digital magazine apps? Then let’s switch it up a bit. Today, we’re presenting you with the A to Z practical glossary of digital magazine apps.

A – Accessibility

This is a feature of digital magazine apps that enables it to be used by people with a disability, whether they have hearing, visual or physical disabilities. Platforms actually have developer guides for this.

B – Blog

Free access website blogs can help cultivate interest in your digital magazine subscription. Think of it as a free trial.

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C – Caching

For native apps, creating a cache, or stored data within users’ mobile phones, allows for offline access of your digital magazine. The downside is the space it takes up though.

D – Downloads

Many think that once someone has downloaded their app, their job is done. But really, app downloads are just the 2nd step (1st is app store visit). You’ll still have to work on retention.

E – E-commerce

A new revenue opportunity for digital magazine publishers. Digital magazines can now integrate e-commerce elements like shopping carts onto digital magazines themselves allowing publishers to cash in online sales.

F – Flipbook

A term used for digital replicas of print publications or magazines that can be viewed across all browsers and devices.

G – Geo-targeting

A functionality available to native apps that digital magazines can use to deliver customised content and ads based on their readers’ location.


The most recent version of the HTML standard used online that powers the most interactive web content. Digital magazine reflows, the most responsive and interactive type of digital magazines, are also based on HTML5.

I – In-app purchase

A functionality that allows app users to make purchases such as additional content, subscription packages, services and even products within a downloaded app. This goes hand-in-hand with e-commerce integrated digital magazines.

J – Java

This is a commonly used programming language for creating applications for various digital devices.

K – Keyword

Publishing digital magazine apps also requires the strategic use of keywords to be found online by potential readers. Search engine optimisation uses keywords for promoting your magazine in search engines. The same is also true for app store optimisation.

L – Landing page

This is a page where a visitor has been directed to that’s geared towards a certain goal and thus has a clear call-to-action. It’s normally associated with collecting user information through a form. However, for apps, this can be the page on the publisher’s website where the app is showcased and there are buttons that lead to the app stores for download.

M – Multi-publication app

This is an app where publishing companies can showcase more than one publication.

N – Newsfeed

This is a continuous transmission of data online, regularly providing updates. Some digital magazine apps or digital publication apps have started incorporating a live newsfeed in their apps as part of their exclusive content to provide added value to their subscribers.

O – Offline viewing

An important feature that allows online content to be accessible by native app users even while they are disconnected from the internet. Digital magazine apps should have this feature where magazines can be downloaded automatically when the device is connected to wifi and stores the issue for later viewing.

P – Push notification

These are simple automated messages in a device sent from an application even while it’s not in use. This can be used to notify app users when new issues are available, or if you combine live newsfeed functionality with app personalisation, your app can post push notifications when a news update of specific interest to your subscriber has been posted.

Q – QR codes

This is a square-shaped code that can be easily scanned by QR scanner apps on mobile devices and usually contains a URL. This can be used by digital magazine publishers when promoting their app on printed material.

R – Reflow

A reflow is designed so that text, images and other interactive elements are enlarged to comfortably fit the screen of a device. This results in a superior reading experience since the reader doesn’t need to zoom in/out to read text or engage with content.

S – Stickiness

This is a metric for mobile apps that’s related to daily and monthly active users. Digital magazine publishers can calculate this by dividing daily active users by monthly active users giving you a percentage of your digital magazine app users that come back.

T – Timed subscription

This is a model of subscription that allows users to access content for a limited time period. Digital magazine apps can use this as a sort of free trial system to encourage potential subscribers to subscribe before their limited access runs out.

U – UX

UX is short for user experience and it directly refers to a user-centric design focused on providing optimal user experience.

V – Video

This is one of the main multimedia content types used to enrich digital magazine content. This can be used both in promotion and within the issues of the digital magazine itself.

W – Web application

An alternative to the native app, web applications are run on browsers. They don’t consume space but depend on internet connection to be accessible.


This stands for extensible markup language which is used for encoding web documents in a format that can be ready by applications. Digital magazine apps can use this for creating feeds.

Y – YouTube

The world’s largest, free online video hosting website can be used by digital magazine publishers to publish or embed supplementary, exclusive, curated, how-to, and promotional videos in their content or across their content ecosystem.

Z – Zero page

For flippable digital magazine replicas, the zero page is the empty area on the left side on the magazine cover of a portrait layout issue.

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