Quark announced that QuarkXPress version 9 will be available starting in April. QuarkXPress 9 has a distinct focus on digital publishing platforms, aimed at letting designers create content for interactive platforms such as the iPad.
App Studio for QuarkXPress will allow for development of Apps for the iPad, with little programming required. Designers can then take the developed app and publish it on Apple’s App Store for purchase. App Studio would not ship in XPress 9’s initial release, but according to Quark, will be a feature that is patched in within 90 days of release.
Quark will also support the new Blio eReader platform, which is designed to be a free, multi-platform, multi-device application for creation of eBooks which look just like the printed counterpart. Additionally, QuarkXPress 9 will also export to the more popular and established ePub format.
As for traditional print layout features, XPress 9 has new automation functions which speeds up routine tasks such as creating styles, bullet points and numbering, callouts, and the creation of image grids. A new story editor also helps editing within a layout where it is difficult to read and when reviewing stories that span multiple pages.
QuarkXPress 9 will ship with a price that matches the current price of QuarkXPress 8: US$799 for a full product license and US$299 for upgrades from QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7.