Wired e-Magazine iPad App: Another $4.99 Deadtree Conversion Disaster? Maybe Not

I have not been impressed by most of the efforts of I’ve seen by traditional newspaper and magazine publishers to move from the dead tree world to electronic. The one exception so far is the Financial Times. Wired’s efforts may be a second although I have several reservations about recommending it. The

Wired Magazine 1.0 for iPad

is a $4.99 app. That price point is my first issue with this app. I think it is much too high. $1.99 would be great. $2.99 would be acceptable. However, if measure app value by the byte, you might be getting your perceived money’s worth. The Wired app is a gigantic 527MB download. Be sure to be connected over WiFi or use iTunes on your wired desktop/notebook to download it as quickly as possible.

The app’s giant size is probably due to the various Quicktime videos embedded in some articles. These videos are my second issue. While the videos accompanying articles are welcome, there is no simple way to see what all the embedded videos are or which articles have embedded videos. An informational magazine should not require a treasure hunt.

My third issue with the app is one seen in many dead-tree-to-e-magazine apps: It is not obvious when an article needs to be scrolled down to read a complete article. There is no indication that more text is below the botton of the current screen.

My fourth issue is that this is yet another app wrapped around just a single magazine issue. There is no in-app purchase of future or past Wired Magazine issues.

I did, however, appreciate the two article navigation methods I saw:

1. The table of contents seen in the first screenshot drops down and scrolls vertically to display all the articles in the magazine. Tapping the bottom of the screen brings up a horizontal scrubber bar that lets you quickly see articles prior to and following the current page. Thumbnails pop up as you scroll along the bottom of the screen without navigating away from the current page unless you chose to do so.

More importantly, however, I found the article content interesting and informative. The combination of reasonable article navigation and good content might entice me to buy future issues.

Publish date: May 27, 2010 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/wired-e-magazine-ipad-app-another-4-99-deadtree-conversion-disaster-maybe-not/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT