Now that the iPad has been out for a couple months I’m starting to see different types of clusters of functions happening for publishing. There’s the standard web version through a browser, stand alone mags like Wired that have to be designed twice to fit portrait and landscape formats, pdfs, feeds like Flipboard and now a light weight flipbook like device that is essentially the print magazine in digital format. While the tech fan in myself would prefer a fully immersive and interactive experience, swiping through Dazed & Confused for the first time was pleasant enough.
Dazed & Confused used the publishing service Exact Editions to format their magazine so it could be viewed in an iPad. A viewer has the ability to see full spreads, individual pages and the ability to zoom in on an image which I feel is a really important feature that some photo heavy iPad apps are missing on. The trade off is that there is a slight load delay for each page to load—something I’m fine with because I can see a lot more detail with the images. I also noticed that the ads made a lot more sense in terms of visuals, really nice formatted images. The only glitch in the full spreads is that the images on don’t always line up if it is a full bleed through the center of the spread. The navigation also allows for a quick tap to thumb through all the pages.
How is it to read? I didn’t read from cover to cover but I didn’t have any issue reading the articles that I did. I’ve displayed a couple examples showing the full spread and the quality of the image when I zoomed in to read. Sure I couldn’t tweet about an article or share it, but I also don’t think that is the point. Again I usually would tend to feel everything should have a url attached to it, but for this I didn’t really care. Would I pay for this? Looking at Amazon, the print version is $75.00 a year ($6.25/issue). That’s a bit expensive for a really limited set of features. I could see myself paying somewhere between $35 to $40 but not much more. After all I still can get a ton of great content already designed specifically for an iPad that allows me to do much more. As a younger and more digital savvy type of publisher emerges there will be some pretty cool strides made in the upcoming year. For now it is interesting to watch how they figure out what that is.