Thursday, May 27, 2010

Australian iPad Launch - what content is available?

Regrettably the iBook store still only appears to have free books this morning. It's great for project Gutenberg as it will draw many new users to that content.

Other content, such as magazines, are available via an app created for each title. This seems a weird platform but does lead to creativity by each publisher.

APC (Australian Personal Computer) have a free app that is a store for buying the magazine and reading it.

APC Magazine.jpg

APC offers little more than a PDF version of the magazine, you can't even click on the articles on the front page to go to them you must page through sideways.

Tapping in the middle of the page brings up four icons, a wheelbarrow of logs, two house-bricks, a HyperCard home and a calculator. One of them "flip view" lets you spin through page images to jump to them. Very mysterious.

The Australian (newspaper) has done a great job on the iPad.

TheAustralian.jpg

The news updates when you open it and the front page articles click through to the stories. Across the top is a finger touch version of a menu bar that lets the user navigate the section. Ads pop up full screen and you must close them to go on. Fair enough I guess.

I subscribed for a month at a fair price.

It's no surprise that the masters of this new media form are Wired Magazine who've been working on this for some time.

Wired.jpg

Great choice putting a Pixar still on the cover (notice how Pixar movies are often used in TV stores to show off television sets?). It looks fantastic on the iPad screen.

Everything is clickable and the magazine is navigable in all sorts of interesting ways.

While I guess it's no problem having each publication distribute via its own app, it might be good if someone came up with a common platform and created iMagazine that could be used by smaller titles without the budget to pay for their own developer. I know this has happened in the comic book reader area to some extent.

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