Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Next Web updates its digital magazine app, making TNW Magazine universal by adding iPhone support

The technology website The Next Web (TNW) updated its digital magazine, which previously was designed specifically for the iPad. Now TNW Magazine is a universal app that can now be used on the iPhone, and though they fail to mention it in the app description, the iPod touch, as well.

TNW Magazine is very good example of a web property launching a digital magazine using original content. This particular digital-only magazine uses the Mag+ platform to create its issues and the vendor has a blog post about the addition of iPhone support that features an interview with Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, the founder and editor-in-chief of TNW. It reads a bit too much like PR and features a rather poor video, so I've decided to include my own walk-through the digital magazine as it appears on the iPhone 5 below.

The two versions of the digital magazine, iPhone and iPad, look very much the same, though they are not identical. The larger display of the iPad allows for somewhat more intricate layouts, while the iPhone demands simple scrolling pages.
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The latest issue produced by TNW is the only one available for the iPhone while TNW is already on issue number 9 on the iPad (my how time flies).

The iPhone version of the latest issue, titled DISCONNECTED, weighs in at 108.7 MB. It appears to have been designed for the iPhone 4 or earlier because of page sizes, though the navigation tools appear at the very top and bottom of the iPhone 5's screen.

By comparison, the iPad version of the digital issue weighs in at 201.9 MB on the new iPad. But version can be read in portrait and landscape, but the layouts are the same. On the iPad this really does give the reader an option to turn their tablet to the most comfortable orientation because the digital magazine has been designed for the device – meaning the fonts are sized appropriately as opposed to a replica edition where the fonts are sized for print.

On the iPhone, while both orientations are available, the logical way to read the magazine is in portrait.

TNW Magazine remains free to download and access, though the app does have a voluntary payment and subscription option in order to generate revenue from very generous readers.

A video is available on the Mag+ website of the newly updated TNW Magazine app, but I think this is a better walk-through as it isn't shot from outside the app: