Monday, May 20, 2013

a+ magazine: a free Newsstand magazine launches with some lofty goals; developed, released by f2f 6Sixty Digital

Looking for the first time at a new tablet-only magazine the first thing I want to see is what platform was used to create the digital magazine. Then i want to know in what orientation the magazine is to be read, and finally the file size. Then I can actually start enjoying the magazine itself.

a+ magazine presents some surprises. It's file size of 111 MB is so modest one would assume only one orientation is supported (not true) or that there would not be much interactivity (also not true).

The magazine was founded and is edited by Smokey D. Fontaine, which the app itself was built by f2f 6Sixty Digital.

The new publication is free of charge to download and subscribe to thanks to Toyota. The app opens up to the words "powered by Avalon" and the first issue itself is packed with ads for the Avalon. Launching with a single sponsor is a great way to go, something that I would think B2B publishers might want to try. Usually single sponsors are the way to go when trying to build up paid circulation to the point where ads can be sold, but by going with a free circulation model the publisher probably can hit that point much quicker
The new digital magazine's mission statement makes pretty interesting reading:

At no other point in history has digital culture been so clearly visible.

At no other point have clicks, touches & swipes so clearly defined what we like, love and feel about the world around us.

The rise of digital has brought with it an opportunity to express ourselves in ways never thought possible, to create and dream and match our imaginations with boundless possibility.

But there is a price to be paid...

The digital moment has also brought with it a transience, a nagging feeling of emptiness built into the pixels that flash across our irresistible screens.

So where is the experiencer that gives us something to truly remember? Where is the platform that dazzles us with the beauty of our creativity?

The answer is here...
There is more but you can go ahead and read the rest in the free digital magazine. A variation of the mission statement can be found in the app description, as well.

The new app has been sitting in my iPad for a couple of weeks. Since then an update has been issued to fix bugs. The app is universal, which I'm not sure was a good idea being that the design does not support the iPhone 5. Launching a digital magazine that can also be read on smartphones is a huge temptation for many publishers, I'm sure. But unless the publisher is designing a "The Magazine" or 29th Street Publishing type of publication it is usually a big mistake (though I like the original BJPhoto app that used Mag+ to create its mobile edition).