Thursday, May 24, 2012

Apple features all native designed magazine apps in its Newsstand App of the Week section, including the newly launched tablet edition for Cook's Illustrated

Despite having an obvious bias towards interactive, natively designed media app, Apple sometimes promoted a replica edition in its Apps of the Week section of the App Store. But this week all five apps being promoted feature native design. That includes the well done tablet edition for Cook's Illustrated.
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Cook's Illustrated Magazine is tablet edition that is both old fashioned and cutting edge. The magazine itself is the old fashioned part, and its tablet edition faithfully keeps its basic look and feel inside the new iPad app.

But the layouts and interactivity give the tablet edition a modern feel, as well. Inside the reader will find lots of creative use of tablet design, as well as embedded video that puts this digital magazine miles ahead of Bonnier's Saveur, for instance. The future of cooking magazines is so clearly interactivity and instructional videos that one might be hard pressed to understand why a replica edition would work in this category (hint, it doesn't).

Because of the interactivity of the app, the May/June issue currently available weighs in at 655 MB for the new iPad.

The new app is sold under the publisher's name, America's Test Kitchen. Monthly subscriptions are available for $1.99, with annual subscriptions priced at $19.99. Single copy issues can be bought at $5.99.

Despite the quality of the app edition, there are still plenty of one-star reviews of the new app generated by irate print subscribers who will be forced to pay again to access the digital editions.

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The other four magazines being featured in the iPad App of the Week section include Meredith's app for Better Homes and Gardens, Hearst's Popular Mechanics, Wenner Media's US Weekly, and Source Interlink Media's Automobile.

The Meredith app for Better Homes and Gardens has recently begun to offer print subscribers their digital editions for free, greatly reducing the number of those nasty negative reviews. The less than rave reviews now seen in the App Store involve app bugs, things that can get worked out over time.

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