Take these two stories.
Ben Brooks (however many days old):
There’s both good and bad with Tap!, but ultimately I think it is probably the best general consumer grade magazine experience on the iPad.
Yesterday, I announced System Extension, a members-only magazine for 512 Pixels. I built the first edition in Apple’s iBook Author program, which is simply stunning.
Except for the terms of service.
Put them together and you’ve got the iPad’s current magazine problem. Hackett’s magazine is beautiful and feels the way I think an iPad magazine should feel. It reads the way an iPad magazine should read. Why? Because Apple designed iBooks Author to do just that: make a great reading experience on a tablet device while still providing a multi-media (What is this, 1994?) environment.
Remember when the web (the actual sites, not just the ads) were all flashing lights, animated .gif’s, and theme songs that played on load (Again with the 90’s)? That is the direction magazines like Tap! are taking. Don’t get me wrong. They’re much better off than the mainstream publications, but System Extension is what my dad should see (though it would probably be something more like, Mustang Maintenance) when he picks up his iPad to read a magazine. It downloads fast. It works the way an iPad user expects things like text and images and videos to work.
The problem is, publishers seemingly can’t do it this way very easily without locking in to only the iBookstore (which would make no sense for a magazine anyway). Apple needs to fix this. It seems that by simply allowing it to work with Newsstand, they would have a starting point. Otherwise we’re stuck with what we’ve got: animated “Under Construction” signs or giant .png’s stacked on top of each other.
Apple is better than this. The iPad is better than this.