iA » WIRED on iPad: Just like a Paper Tiger…

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Here’s an interesting discussion about the new Wired magazine app for the iPad. This is a big deal because Wired is a popular technology title and its audience are all going to be interested in both the magazine and the device it’s being read on. The app has been getting rave reviews from a lot of people, but others have complained about the quantity of ads.

The guys at iA are working on several designs for magazines on iPad, so they kind of know what they’re talking about when they lay into its design: WIRED on iPad: Just like a Paper Tiger….

First, the paper magazine was crammed into the little iPad frame. To compensate for the lack of interactive logic, this pretty package was provided with a fruity navigation. In the end it was spiced with in-app links, plucked with a couple of movies and salted with audio files (”interactive”). Then it was off to marketing. And it sold 24,000 copies. Dammit. It’s the Nineties all over again.

The amazing thing for me is that Wired seem to have done exactly what Apple are encouraging developers not to do: instead of using Apple’s own development tools to create native iPhone and iPad applications, they used Adobe InDesign and rendered their iPad app as flat graphics (PNG files). All of which means that the fonts don’t look crisp, the user can’t control the way things display, and the overall experience is (by some accounts) slightly disappointing (especially for something costing £2.99).

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