Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Updated post: American Athlete Magazine launches its premiere issue for the iPad

Yesterday I struggled to install the recently launched app for the newly launched magazine American Athlete. You can read the original post here if you want to make fun of my struggles.

I'd never encountered a situation where I could not install an app, and after several attempts I wondered if the problem lay in the app itself. In the end, I think the issue must have been with my iPad, or else I simply was being psychotic.
The app, American Athlete Magazine PREMIERE ISSUE, once installed, will settle into Apple's Newsstand. Sold under the name of the interactive agency, DavidHenry Agency, the app is free to download and is free to access and subscribe to, as well.

The president of The DavidHenry Agency is David Fink, who is listed on the tablet magazine as publisher

(Thank you to Konstantinos Antonopoulos for posting a comment on the original post with feedback that he was able to successfully download and install the app.)

Much of what I initially found strange in this app can be pretty much dismissed now that I can finally install and see the app.

The premiere issue opens with a video, which helps explain why the issue weighs in at 560 MB. Layouts can be read in both portrait and landscape, and there is embedded video throughout.

The magazine's design uses the nearly standard navigation of scrolling within stories, and swiping to get to the next article. There remains plenty of discussion about whether this should be the way one navigates a media app but I've always found it the most natural approach. It is possible that those who argue only for swiping are not thinking about tablet magazines, but are taking their eBook and website preferences to the tablet.

Design-wise, as you'd expect from a tablet magazine designed by an agency, this one is very attractive.

(TNM rarely discusses content, but the premiere issue features Orlando Hudson, second baseman for the San Diego Padres.)

If you or your company are considering making the hefty investment in the Adobe digital publishing tools this might be a good magazine to look at – not only because it is free to access, but because it is very well done.

If I had any criticisms they would be minor: adding "Premiere Issue" to the app name means an updated app needs to appear – though this might be a strategy decision, and might be the way to go; the app description is far too short – come on, you're an agency, sell your product; the app icon is a landscape shot – I found this confusing when installing, and may have led me to miss the app inside Newsstand, where the actual icon was in portrait.

You can find the media kit for the new magazine online here in PDF form.