Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Two very different magazines launch iPad editions: the old media company takes a native design approach, while the independent magazine takes a replica edition approach

Two print magazine that come from very different sources have taken different approaches to launching their first iPad editions. While one might expect an old media newspaper like The News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida to use a replica edition approach; while might expect a more native approach to be used by the independent magazine Philly Beer Scene. But you'd be wrong.

First off, let me say that I tried to contact both publishing teams – with no luck. So many of the questions that I had about these apps will have to wait for answers, I'm afraid.

The new app for Philly Beer Scene, sold under the publishers name, Mat Falco, used Tapedition to create its app. Tapedition seems pretty expensive to me, especially for what you get. For $499 a month you get an app that supports Newsstand, but one wonders whether the vendor is really charging this amount.
The reason is that this app has pop-up ads, a first as far I can tell.

No one likes pop-up ads, but they are pretty hard to avoid online. But to get a pop-up ad in a digital magazine is really obnoxious. Then to get the same ugly ad (actually the colors change) every few pages of swiping is even more obnoxious. Had I drunk a few six packs of beer I might have been tempted to throw my iPad across the room.

The only thing positive to say about this new tablet edition is that it is free of charge, though I would make sure you are in a good frame of mind before opening it up. But if you are a publisher you might want to check it out if only to see what to avoid in your own tablet magazine.

Grandeur Magazine is a completely different beast. It comes from the Gannett newspaper in Fort Myers and is labeled as Volume 1, Number 1. Yet a check online reveals that the magazine used to be in print. Is it possible that this is a relaunch of this title in digital form only? Neither the newspaper's website or the magazine itself gives one a clue.
Unlike the beer magazine, however, this upscale title uses native tablet techniques such as scrolling within stories and swiping to reach the next story. There is also embedded captions, some video and added photo galleries here.

I found some of the font choices somewhat small for a tablet magazine, which might make you think this was designed for print first, but the scrolling text boxes show that would not be the case.

A second magazine, Southwest Florida Parent and Child, was released into the Newsstand just today, as well. While I did not download and install it, it looks like it was created in the same way as Grandeur.