Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All I want for Christmas is a media app: a look at some newly released media apps for iPad and Android tablets

I couldn't believe how busy yesterday afternoon got. Here we are in the days before Christmas and suddenly I'm getting e-mails about new media apps left and right. It was kind of nice to be that busy looking at new media products, while waiting anxiously to see if UPS and FedEx will be delivering the presents I bought online in time for Christmas morning. (Looking at the tracking reports it looks like it will be a close call.)
Amanda at Bonnier sent me a note to tell me that their magazine Popular Science has launched an Android app exclusively for the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Their press release had the oddest collection of upper case and lower case I've ever seen, but being someone who owns an iPad, maybe this is common in the world of Android. In any case, I appreciate hearing about any new apps for Android since I don't currently have an Android tab. Thanks Amanda.

“One of the great opportunities in this project was the chance to advance our own learnings about creating the best user experience for this new screen size,” Mike Haney, editorial director, Bonnier R&D is quoted in the release. “Although the smaller space requires more simplified layouts, we found that the horizontal orientation of the widescreen display gave us the best canvas for easy-to-read, flowing text and big, beautiful images without the screen ever feeling cluttered—preserving that immersive, relaxing magazine experience. The issue feels like it was made for this device—because it was.”

Interesting point about the "simplified layouts", don't you think?

Yesterday I wrote about different strategies for B2B publishers, and one of those strategies was publishing special editions for tablets. It looks like the folks at Nature Publishing Group had that same idea.

First thing this morning the publishers new iPad app for their magazine Scientific American has been launched. The app is a special edition called Origins and Endings: Scientific American.

The app costs $3.99 to download and weighs in at 384 MB. "For our debut on the iPad we curated some of our favorite articles from two single-topic issues, "Origins" and "The End," and added interactive informational graphics that show how things work as well as slide shows, audio interviews with scientists and video supplements," reads the app description.

I love reading these types of magazines. Anybody want to put a promo code in my Christmas stocking?

OK, this one isn't actually a magazine, but I think it is interesting to look at, nonetheless. It is Avenue Montaigne Guide for iPad. Now anybody who knows me knows how much I love Paris, and although shopping on the Avenue Montaigne is a bit ritzy for me, you should check this one, nonetheless. Especially if you have international editions.
Yes, you can drool at the Haute Couture, but what got my attention here is that the app offers French copy while in portrait mode, and English in landscape mode. Until tablets come with automatic translating -- and I think they will one day -- this is the way to go when trying to reach two different audiences.

This is the seventh edition of their print publication and is the Fall issue. The developer promises a new tablet edition in early April of next year. (The developer is listed as Société Emeraude Diffusion France and the link on the app description page takes you to an interesting video.)


Tablazines said...

So how would you compare the experience of the iPad version of Pop Sci to the Android one?

Unknown said...

No, I don't own a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Sadly they didn't send me one on release. (Man, Apple didn't send me an iPad either -- what's wrong with these folks! ;)

As I've written in the past, however, I am a little leery of screen sizes smaller than the iPad for magazines and newspapers. (Is a smaller screen indicative of a mobile device or a tablet?)

I can see gamers preferring the small form -- and possibly those who enjoy their Kindles and Nooks. But for magazine and newspaper reading the larger form seems more natural.

But one year from now I would guess that readers will be able to tell us what they like better, a more mobile tablet, or one with more canvas size.