Can Plasmapage Stand up to Adobe InDesign?

June 8, 2013

10:00 am

App development is a hot-ticket item these days, and there are a multitude of companies that work to make life easier for designers and developers. Inside a Bit, an Italian consulting firm, recently released Plasmapage to do their part to help out.

Initially designed for freelancers, web designers, small- and medium-sized IT companies, and big corporations alike, Plasmapage allows simple conversion of InDesign catalogues, magazines, or books into digital and interactive desktop, web, and mobile applications.

But when you look at the publicized functionality of Plasmapage, there seems to be a circulating question that you cannot avoid: does InDesign already accomplish the same task?

So, let us take a quick walk through Luca Mezzalira’s and Thomas Baggio’s Plasmapage and see where it claims success over Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite.

Plasmapage features easy-to-add interactive features like slideshows, popups, and lists. As it turns out, though, these are all functions that can be applied through InDesign itself. Plasmapage does perform well when it comes to time, and reduces the creation time of apps to a matter of mere minutes.

Adobe, as we are all acutely aware, is expensive. Since Plasmapage is still in private beta, the team is still discussing price points. But if you are working with InDesign files to begin with, that means that you have already purchased InDesign. Thus, the price argument seems to be ultimately self-defeating.

Plasmapage does hold an edge over Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite in two other key margins. Developers can easily integrate analytic tools and e-commerce modules that provide detailed information about customer interactions with the app and allow them to sell other products from within the app, respectively. Traditionally, that would require a hefty amount of programming knowledge to accomplish outside of Plasmapage.

The integration of rich media into any app is difficult, and Plasmapage aims to make that, as well as InDesign file conversions to real desktop, web, and mobile applications, easier than ever.

Judging by the other products Inside a Bit has designed, Plasmapage is in good hands, but Adobe is a tough giant to bring down. Not to mention there are multiple solutions within the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite dedicated to solving the very issue Plasmapage seeks to address.

“I recently spent 40 days in US and nobody told me Plasmapage is a a mess or that it did not work,” says Mezzalira. “I am proud of our solution and the direction we are heading.”

So, if Inside a Bit has in fact created a digital publishing solution capable of out performing Adobe’s solutions, then the ball could be in their court as they move forward. When Plasmapage is publicly released, in beta or otherwise, the picture will start to clear and hopefully show an easy way to streamline app creation.

Plasmapage was featured at Tech Cocktail’s San Francisco Mixer & Startup Showcase on May 22nd. 

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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