Khoi Vinh on iPad Magazines 04 April 2011

In my personal opinion, Adobe is doing a tremendous disservice to the publishing industry by encouraging these ineptly literal translations of print publications into iPad apps. They’ve fostered a preoccupation with the sort of monolithic, overbearing apps represented by The New Yorker, Wired and Popular Science. Meanwhile, what publishers should really be focusing on is clever, nimble, entertaining apps like EW’s Must List or Gourmet Live. Neither of those are perfect, but both actively understand that they must translate their print editions into a utilitarian complement to their users’ content consumption habits.

Khoi Vinh’s excellent article on iPad magazines is a few months old now but a great read nonetheless.

The majority of iPad magazines so far are just glorified PDFs with a few videos and slideshows thrown in for good measure. This reminds me of the early days of the web when a company’s website would be a series of pages with images scanned from their brochure.

Maybe the people responsible for these magazines are satisfied with cheap and cheerful solutions that get their content on the screen and are therefore “good enough”, or maybe not enough of them appreciate the opportunities presented by the iPad. Our aim with Coffee Press is to make original digital publications which aren’t restricted by their dead tree counterparts and that take advantage of this new media.

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