| One year ago, I wrote an article about a new PhotoshopR plugin called Kwik by Alex Souza. With this plugin, you can create interactive mobile apps without the need to write code. Because Kwik is a plugin for Photoshop, you will be creating your app directly from within the familiar Photoshop workspace using the Kwik and Layers panels. You can reach my 2011 article by the link below.|
In just one year, there have been many additions and enhancements to Kwik 2. Although you can use Kwik 2 for mobile apps other than books apps, the main concentration of upgrades in Kwik 2 have been for storybook apps. We will be including most of these features in our tutorial series sample book.
One feature that will be great for book apps is the optional automatically generated navigational menu with thumbnails of each page. You have control over where this slide-in menu appears on the page and the size of the thumbnails. You also have the option to use forward/backward navigational buttons instead of the default swipe gesture.
Kwik 2 has many more new features such as auto suspend and auto bookmarking, which tells the app to restart on the last page or scene viewed. With the addition of variables and conditionals, we can add new advanced features to our books such as dynamic text.
As limited memory resources is always an issue for mobile apps, I especially like the Shared Asset option which allows you to use the same object on several pages. By setting the common object, such as a button, as a Shared Asset, you tell Kwik to export only one copy for the finished app. Another new feature that will help with larger apps is the option to export large images as jpg instead of png. You also have quality control when exporting these jpg images.
Many children's book authors wish to have the "Read to Me" feature in their book apps. You have the option to add text narrative audio files to each page. Also the audio/text sync has been improved with the addition of word highlighting and the word click feature, which plays the audio for only the word clicked. This is great for young readers.
Another great addition is the error handling built into the preview process. Whenever you start the process to preview your project in the Corona Simulator, Kwik will first check the code, alert you of any problems and suggest how to fix the problem.
Animation is a big part of any storybook app and Kwik 2 has many new animations and new controls for easing, timed delay and sequencing. My personal favorite is the addition of physics and physics bodies with controls for gravity, boundaries, force, collisions and joints. Movie clip and sprite sheet animations have been improved with the integration of Kwik 2 with TexturePacker and PhysicsEditor from Code'n'Web. TexturePacker is one of the best sprite sheet creators and now exports for Kwik projects.
Below, you will find links to several Kwik 2 tutorials. In this tutorial series, we will be using Kwik 2 to build a book app for the iPad and Apple store. This app will support both the new iPad 3 with the retina display and the older iPad 2 and iPad 1. Some of the features in the book app will include the following.
When creating your graphics for your book app you will need their height and width dimensions to be divisible by 2. As you know, the retina display for the iPad has twice the number of pixels as the non-retina iPad. You will build the retina sized version of your book and Kwik will automatically create a second copy of each graphic at one-half the size of the original for the non-retina version of your app. Therefore, you will want your original graphics to be "divisible by 2". Each graphic for your book app will need to have an even number of pixels for both the height and width.
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