Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Incisive Media releases is first tablet edition for the British Journal of Photography; iPad app offers the first issue free

The British Journal of Photography (BJP) has a tablet edition now in the App Store that offers the first issue free of charge, and two profile issues for $0.99 each. The BJP is published by Incisive Financial Publishing Limited.
The app was built using the Mag+ digital publishing platform and the first issue is quite extensive. In fact, the editor, Simon Bainbridge, makes reference to this in his Editor's Letter at the front of the free issue. "If you've never read us before, thank you for your patience with the download; a necessary evil in the course of bringing you a magazine app packed with in-depth articles, reviews, videos and, of course, hundreds of visually arresting, full-frame images," Bainbridge writes.

The download of the free issue does take a while, as it weighs in just under 400 MB. But as the app gives you both portrait and landscape views, as well as a fair amount of animation/video, 400 MB isn't extreme at all.

But I did have some trouble after the download as my iPad crashed continually when trying to access the issue. At first I gave up but decided to go over to the U.K. App Store to see if readers were complaining about the app – nope. So I decided to reboot my iPad, a hard reboot rather than just powering it down. To do this, by the way, you press both the sleep button at the top and the home button at the same time and keep them pressed until the iPad reboots. That did the trick.

So before proceeding, here is the magazine's own promo video about their app:

BJP for the iPad - Sneak Preview from Olivier Laurent on Vimeo.

Bainbridge's column also says that this tablet edition is not really meant to be read in one sitting, and he is right. There is a lot of content here – both within the issue and with the live content that can be accessed through the navigation at the top of the app.

There was clearly a lot of work put into this app, and assuming that my crashing issues were my own and not tied to the app, this is a great example of what can be accomplished using the Mag+ platform. So rather than continuing to point out all the features here why not take a look yourself – that, of course, is why many publishers are offering the first issue free.

The only question going forward, of course, is can they continue to produce tablet editions of this quality? As they will be publishing quarterly they might just be able to pull it off, and the Mag+ system that works right within InDesign, makes that possible.

As for the magazine, well, it speaks for itself – this is a very good publication and is well worth the £6.99 cover price. For U.S. readers this iPad edition may be their first chance to read the magazine, and with Borders closing down, the easiest way to access the content.
Left: The TOC is huge, this is only the first page, other pages are accessed via scrolling; Right: an ad for Hasselblad takes advantage of the Mag+ platform.