Friday, July 13, 2012

#5 and Magnificent Man: contrasts between a custom solution versus PDF from Kindmags

A quick trip through the App Store this morning revealed that Apple was once again promoting a magazine that is being sold under the name – #5 Magazine.

If the name of the name of the magazine is a mystery to you, no doubt your an American. Number five refers to the Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, and the magazine is a rather shameless way to sell lots of goods and capitalize on the soccer player's fame. The magazine, which can be found online, as well as in app form, is produced in association with New Era Global Enterprises which provides management services for a number of stars of the EPL.
Despite the magazine being centered around a star athlete, the app appears under the name of the developer: Currently there are 16 apps appearing under the name of that developer, all of them universal apps.

The vast majority of these apps are described by Kindmags themselves as "PDF" (or "PDF with Video"). One such magazine is Magnificent Man, a magazine from Bremont Watch Company. The effort for #5, however, is listed as "bespoke" – a custom project.

The two digital magazines couldn't be more different. Whereas #5 is designed specifically for the tablet, to be read in landscape, and is filled with audio and video, Magnificent Man was clearly designed for print and simply converted into app form from the art director's PDF file. One is easily read and enjoyable (if more than a bit too commercial), while the other is a nightmare of turning one's tablet and zooming in the read the content.

The last issue of Magnificent Man available through the app is the January/February issue. It is possible that the publisher, too, has realized that this is not an optimal way to bring one's magazine to the iPad.

Meanwhile, #5 is getting some more promotion from Apple (in the iPhone Newsstand section of the App Store), which is probably what the effort deserves.

Check out both digital magazines in this short video: