The beta for Longbox Digital, the application that’s been heralded as the iTunes of digital comics, is scheduled to make its debut this month, according to LongBox CEO Rantz Hoseley.
Longbox is actually much more than just an iTunes program and will eventually feature integration with gaming consoles, electronic book readers and several mobile phone operating systems (iPhone/Android/Blackberry).
While multi-platform support won’t be available for quite a while, the desktop app’s official launch is tentatively set for Oct/Nov. (If you’ll recall, we acquired a beta key for the app at San Diego Comic-Con) [READ: SDCC 09 Video: Longbox Digital Comics App Demo]
Check out the short Q&A with Hoseley below for more launch details…
TechGOnzo, of Geeks of Doom: When will versions of Longbox launch on Mobile phones? What about gaming consoles?
Rantz Hoseley: We’re expecting other platforms and device support to roll out over the next year to 18 months. It’ll entirely depend (in terms of what platform, and when it is deployed) on the business deals. Some will go fairly quickly, others may be a bit more…involved… to ensure that the customers and users have a consistent purchasing experience across all supported platforms. The tech side isn’t an issue and will be wrapped well before the business deals are.
GoD: Given that you did not use flash technology — at least initially — will Longbox favor the iPhone OS more than other mobile operating systems? If so, to what degree?
RH: No. While we wanted to make sure LongBox didn’t have a functionality that precluded the use or participation of a given platform or device, we’re very much of the mindset that, if the business model makes sense, then we’ll be on that hardware. We’ve been working on the Blackberry Storm, Android, Palm Pre and others, so… no, we won’t be supporting or favoring the iPhone over the others.
GoD: Any idea when the beta will launch? (I proudly got the first beta key after the panel.)
RH: We’re currently expecting late August, possibly early September. A couple of new, very exciting business developments came up in the two weeks prior to SDCC, and since returning from the show, we’ve been running though the due diligence on those developments, in order to decide whether or not we want those to be part of the initial launch (and hence included in the Beta), or whether they should be held back and rolled out around the end or beginning of the year.