Monday, June 27, 2011

Bonnier releases disappointing app for Saveur

If you read my report on Thursday of last week on the slate of new tablet editions released by Bonnier you would have noticed that I ended that post wondering about their title Saveur. The world food magazine was conspicuously missing from the latest app releases, were they delaying a new app because they wanted to incorporate video and other tablet features?
Sadly, the answer appears to be no. Late on Friday a new iPad app appeared for Saveur and like the other Bonnier apps, it is essentially a replica edition, but one that no doubt uses the Mag+ system to compile the PDF pages. (Update: I have been told that it does not use Mag+ but another Bonnier system for replicas called MagLight.)

Like the other Bonnier apps, the Saveur app is free to download and offers a discounted in-app purchased subscription for $1.99 monthly, or $14.99 per year. Individual issues can be bought for $4.99. But print subscribers are screwed: you will have to pay again if you want to read this magazine on your iPad – which is why I only bothered to look at the preview issue, why pay twice?

The app is replica in every way: it has no landscape mode and the production team does not reenvision the layouts to take advantage of the iPad, forcing the reader to use pinch to zoom to read many of the articles because there has been no font adjustments.

The Saveur app is hugely disappointing and I can imagine that magazines like this one will suffer greatly once publishers realize the enormous potential tablets offer for food magazines.

Bonnier also released on the same day a similar app for its magazine Garden Design, but those who were expecting great things from the Swedish media firm have got to scratching their heads at this point.