Monday, August 9, 2010

Exact Editions brings out strange mix of periodicals; Dazed & Confused gets the PDF treatment

First a bit of advice for PR people at magazines or app developers: don't say your app "is finally released" -- it makes it sound like things didn't go so well. And maybe they didn't.
The British fashion magazine Dazed & Confused has had their universal app released today by Exact Editions. Like the other apps from Exact Editions, this is really just a flipbook for the iPad/iPhone. The app is free, and there is no charge for the content either. So from that standpoint you get what you pay for -- no enhanced edition, but the advertisers get added exposure and the magazine gets extra marketing. I don't see anything wrong with that as long as the publishers are honest enough to know they really aren't in the tablet publishing business.
This Exact Editions app comes with one nice feature: it uses a Coverflow approach to the page thumbnail navigation. If you don't know what Coverflow is, it is the approach used by Apple inside iTunes to show album covers -- here they call it pageflow.

Like all PDF based apps, the pages take a second to come into focus, a dead give away that this is a converted flipbook. On the bright side, the app automatically downloads the issue, enabling offline reading.

One last thing: I visited the website to check out the differences (if any) between what was there and the iPad app. Scrolling down the page I found the link which -- after a long pause -- took me to the Exact Editions site and the flipbook of the same issue. There was no difference between the two products, though the pages did load quicker online, but this may be because the online version is not as hi-res as the iPad edition.

Update: I realize the headline does not fit the story. The reason for this is that I failed to mention that looking through the iTunes app store, one is struck by the strange collection of apps from Exact Editions. Besides a few periodicals, there are at least five battle story apps such as Iwo Jima 1945. They can be found under Books in iTunes.