Wired Creates an iPad App and Brings the Digital Revolution to Magazines

Wired Magazine announced their iPad app today to want can only be called “great fanfare” among the geek set. From Chris Anderson’s post on the web version of the site:

The arrival of the tablet represents a grand experiment in the future of media. Over the next few months, we’ll integrate social media and offer a variety of versions and ways to subscribe in digital form. We’ll learn through experimentation, and we will watch closely as our readers teach us how they want to use tablets.
There is no finish line. Wired magazine will be digital from now on, designed from the start as a compelling interactive experience, in parallel with our print edition. Wired is finally, well, wired.
link: Wired Magazine’s iPad Edition Goes Live | Magazine

Before I get a storm of people correcting me that Wired wasn’t the first magazine to have an iPad app, even among Condé Nast pubs (GQ & Vanity Fair already have iPad apps), I’m aware of that. I’m just biased that a geek-oriented magazine finally has an iPad app and that is what matters to me. The point here is, perhaps, that Condé Nast sees that their print magazines can have greater life and depth with a digital edition that works more like a magazine than a website does.

While I was surprised to see “full page” ads in the Wired app (yes, I forked over the $5 for it), on second thought it makes perfect sense. Why not have a digital magazine be like, well, a magazine, ads and all?

I’ve flipped through Wired on my iPad a bit and it is gorgeous. It took a bit of trial and error to realize that long articles scroll down and then to move to the next section you turn the “page”. Finding the bits of interactivity, like animations and slide shows, is like finding an Easter Egg in a program. It’s fun and interesting.

And frankly how I want my magazines and books to be in the future.

Review an app in your article, I want to be able to jump to the site and check it out. Maybe I need to push the link to my laptop to download something later (thank you Instapaper), but that’s cool with me. I want people to be able to download an iPad version of Using WordPress and be able to listen to the “Tell Me More” sections and watch the “Show Me” sections right there in the book.

Now there is an excellent question about these magazine apps (and one that I don’t see any reference to in the description of the Wired app is if I have to spend $5 every month or if the updates are free. Of course I’d want the new issues for free. Come on they’ve got me hooked now, I’m going to read the mag now “cover to cover,” but I think I’d be okay paying for another issue. Maybe $2ish. Sarah Perez makes a great point with her tweet that paid subscribers should get the app for free and I certainly would subscribe to magazines who did this. Heck I’d even subscribe to Wired and MacLife for the apps alone!

Even with the question of ongoing cost of the app (hey I know it costs money to put out a magazine so paying per issue isn’t bad as long as I can “keep” back issues), reading books and magazines on the iPad will be the “killer features” that will vault it even more into mainstream adoption. Instead of carrying a paperback (or God forbid a hardcover) and a magazine in your bag, how about just an iPad with a library of reading material? I’m thinking about my fiancée here who loads her bag with reading material heading to the theatre for rehearsals and performances for Vancouver Opera because she has downtime between scenes (maybe I need to give her a 16GB iPad as a wedding present).

Now the question is: how many more magazines will produce apps?


Comments

    • says

      There are some magazine apps out there (and there is one for GQ I believe), but yes … I hope that magazines come up with not only more issues, but better subscription models for the iPad versions.

    • says

      There are some magazine apps out there (and there is one for GQ I believe), but yes … I hope that magazines come up with not only more issues, but better subscription models for the iPad versions.

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