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Twelve Months in Tech – from CES to the BJP App

I started 2011 in Las Vegas, covering the Consumer Electronics Show and, amongst other things, attempting to record a piece to camera in front of an occasionally exploding artificial volcano (it’s all here). Since then, it’s been a fascinating, if unusual, year. A few months later I was filming a robot monkey in Taiwan (covering Computex 2011), but around the same time something even odder than that happened –  I took a temporary step away from daily work in tech journalism and joined a small team bringing the British Journal of Photography  to the iPad.

The following six months have taken the app a long way: from sketches and mockups through UI prototypes and dummy issues, out of the country and back, via Quark, Xcode, a whole lot of HTML, MySQL, PHP and jQuery, a couple of tablets, three versions of InDesign and two busted Macs but, finally, we launched a huge, free debut issue in September. This month we released the first paid-for edition, along with Apple newsstand subscriptions, a free Preview Edition and, last but not least, a custom-made iPad edition of Computeractive, the UK’s biggest selling computer magazine, also in iOS Newsstand.

Oh, and I launched a few apps of my own, too.

And now, just shy of Christmas we’re closing the year with the BJP at the top of Apple’s New and Noteworthy list, with well over 20,000 downloads and just announced as one of the ten best news and magazine apps in Europe by research firm iMonitor. It’s time to wrap up, tidy up, clear the servers, fix the limping Macs, and look across the plans for 2012. Robot monkeys or not, it should be interesting.

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