We sat down with intentions of doing a full featured story on all the iPad Magazines apps that have come out, but then we got a look at the playing field and that idea fell by the wayside.
The app store is now chock-a-block full of magazine offerings for the iPad. There is everything from Travel Magazines to How-To rags, and Surfing journals, from Comic Book Apps to aged bastions of magazine journalism. It‚Äôs not a huge surprise as the iPad is designed to be a device you view things on, whereas the iPhone is somewhat limited by the necessity that it is a phone primarily, and somewhat smaller device.
It does, however make a full review of the apps difficult. So, we‚Äôll look at an overview instead! Clever, eh?
Most of the big boys follow a similar model; the app itself is free, and you pay for specific issues. Time, Newsweek, GQ and many more all follow this √† la carte model.
Many of magazine apps are even made by the same company. The DC and Marvel apps both come from Iconology, the folks who do the Comixology app. The Nation and How It Works and many others come to us from Pixelmags.
Wired is one of the slickest offerings, complete with images that move on a swipe with your finger, within the page, as well as video.
Zino is a clearing house app of magazines, for everything from Juxtapoz to Backpacker. It offers you a taste of the magazines as an impetus to purchase. Really interesting, as one of those tastes was Rolling Stone‚Äôs controversial McChrystal interview.
Some magazine apps reject the pinch-to-zoom, and what you see is what you get. Aarticles are generally read vertically. You scroll up and down, then you move to the next article/section by swiping left or right. The idea both these ideas must be to maintain some faithfulness to the hardcopy version of the magazines, in much the way that you turn pages on the Kindle and iBook apps.
It‚Äôs not a bad strategy, but hopefully we will move a more inventive magazine format, and move away from simply being a digital copy. The key may be in keeping content alive; apps within the issue that keep you coming back, even after you‚Äôve read the issue.
This may be where iAd comes in. A movie app within an issue that keeps you returning to view movie trailers, that offers promotions?
We‚Äôll see, the future is pretty wide open, and while the magazine apps are on the whole very slick-looking, but they‚Äôre not really knocking our socks off yet.
Supposedly there‚Äôs a Popular Mechanics app coming that is supposed to do that, knock our socks off, we‚Äôre waiting.