Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The American Ceramic Society releases two interactive iPad apps, chalk full of video and native tablet features

Sometimes when searching for new tablet editions to write about for TNM one gets a little numbed by the number of unimaginative replica editions. Browsing the Newsstand – usually an international store since Apple has made an absolute mess of the U.S. store – one can almost predict which new digital magazine apps will be natively designed and which will be replicas. I write about the surprises, generally – like the replicas from nextmedia Pty, apps that seem to reflect the company's attitude towards digital, and hence reflect that company's chances at success going forward.

Occasionally I make the mistake of not even clicking on a new app to see what it looks like, whether it is worth downloading. Maybe it is because so many new digital magazines have been released that day, or a bias against some types of magazines because something in me tells me they won't be worth checking out. I usually get proved wrong.

The American Ceramic Society released two new tablet editions this past week that I almost skipped right past. I would have been terribly wrong, though – these are two native tablet editions, built using the Adobe DPS, and filled with interactive features.

The app description for Ceramics Monthly states that this is an "enhanced" edition. This is a poor choice of words to describe the app as this is not a PDF of the print page with some embedded content to spice it up. Instead, the tablet edition offers both portrait and landscape orientations, lots of video and native tablet features – in other words, it is designed for the device on which it will be read.

Individual issues inside the digital version of Ceramics Monthly cost $4.99, with a 1-year subscription available for $24.99. But the app contains a sample issue, which you can see below in the walk-through video, so I would encourage publishers, editors and designers to check it out.

Also released this week was the tablet edition for Pottery Making Illustrated which also contains a free sample issue. Individual issues here are $3.99 with a 1-year subscription available for $19.99.