Apple digital magazine templates could fast-track iPad pubs

Apple is reportedly readying a digital magazine template for inclusion in a future Xcode release, offering content providers a straightforward way to create iPad publications. The template would ensure more UI consistency between digital magazines distributed through the App Store, according to Gadget Daily News' sources, as well as streamlining the implementation of in-app purchases.

Until now, publishers have generally been responsible for producing their own digital magazines from scratch, leading to some interesting designs but a lack of uniformity not in keeping with Apple's generally stringent UI guidelines. Xcode already features various app templates to ensure software is more uniform, and the rumored magazine template would aim to do the same for digital publications.

Meanwhile, it would also open up the segment to a broader group of potential users, lowering the barrier to development. "Imagine a guy drawing and writing a comic book" the source suggests, "he can't sell it to Marvel or DC so he hooks up with a programmer and within days, he's getting his comic book published and sold on iTunes."

Such a plan would instantly boost the number of magazines available to iOS users, bulking up Apple's catalog dramatically, and of course it would also take its usual 30-percent revenue share. Apple is apparently aiming to have the new template ready by the end of 2011.