There’s an argument going on about iPad magazines at the moment that I think is obscuring a larger problem with the whole shooting match.
Right now if you want to have a long unsolvable and generally tedious conversation on Twitter about mags on the iPad then simply make some off hand comment about lazy PDF shovelware or bemoan the lack of innovation in the apps themselves.
Sure, that’s an argument to be had and over time it’ll shake down and some platform or other will be used in preference, but until then how you make an iPad magazine for the iPad isn’t really something I lose any sleep over. Of course, I’m impressed by those making the effort to roll their own, but I’ve seen magazines using Mag+ (no sniggering at the back) that seem perfectly passable and entertaining to me.
I’m not overly bothered by the lack of innovation (whatever that is) in iPad magazine creation. What irks me more is the seeming lack of products for the iPad. Hold on you say there are loads of iPad magazines! Well, yes, but so few of them are iPad magazines they are existing print titles put on the iPad.
Naturally, as the launch editor of Padder (so short lived a title that even ’short lived’ seems a bit generous) I think that new titles are what the iPad should get. A quick look at the top ten Newsstand publications however shows that what publishers want to sell is iPad versions of their print titles. That, in my opinion is a bit sad. Your website is nothing like your magazine so why is your iPad App mag? You can solve all you ”how can we parse our existing print product content on to the iPad” problems by not using that approach. (and yes I know the people looking at budgets are cackling with thunderous laughter at this point)
I’m not particularly moved by innovation when it’s simply being used as a means to shift one product format onto another. I completely understand why existing titles are going to the iPad. I just wish there were more ground-up iPad magazines is all.