Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Toronto-based sports weekly The Hockey News comes to the Apple Newsstand with a native tablet edition

I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but in the Midwest it is most definitely hockey weather. Here in Chicago the Blackhawks have gotten off to a rip-roaring start to the shorten NHL season, though the Sharks, the team I usually follow, are their usual disappointment (currently on a six game losing streak).

So if the hockey season has started late due to a labor dispute I suppose it is OK that The Hockey News app should be allowed to launch a bit late into the year, as well.

The Hockey News is published out of Toronto by Transcontinental Media. The print magazine has a circulation just over 100K, but this new tablet edition, The Hockey News Magazine should pump that up.

The tablet edition is a simple, but effective natively designed digital magazine, with only a minimum of tablet features such as pop-up captions and the like. Each page is self-contained on the tablet's screen – that is, no scrolling text boxes – but the reader navigates the magazine in what is now the standard fashion of scrolling through a multi-page story and swiping to reach the next story.

As The Hockey News is a weekly publication keeping the digital production work as simple as possible, while making sure it is a pleasurable read for digital subscribers is vitally important. I think the publisher has accomplished this goal with this new tablet edition.

Individual issues are priced at $3.99, with a subscription available for $39.99. That may prove a tad high for casual readers, though I'm sure hardcore hockey fans will no mind too much. Print subscribers can log into their accounts to access the issues free of charge, though the app warns that this is for a limited trial period.

There is a sample included in the app so that new readers can check out both the magazine and its new tablet edition.