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Is Wired's App Really the Future of Magazines? 207

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-bandwidth-is-free dept.
MBCook writes "Interfacelab has put up a review of Wired's new iPad app, and declared, 'The only real differentiation between the Wired application and a [1990s] multimedia CD-ROM is the delivery mechanism.' While providing little interactivity other than a fancy page-flip, the application is made of XML and images, including two for the text of each page in portrait and landscape mode. This seems to be why the application is 500MB. The article suggests this was done to get the app out quickly after Flash was officially vetoed by Steve Jobs."
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Is Wired's App Really the Future of Magazines?

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  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thestudio_bob (894258) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:53PM (#32370280)
    Wired made something like $115,000 in four hours of sales.
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrHanky (141717) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:13PM (#32370474) Homepage Journal

      And the novelty factor lasted for ... four hours?

      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Informative)

        by mellon (7048) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:41PM (#32370706) Homepage

        Nope, more like ten minutes. I got it because people were crowing about how great it was, but it was mostly ads, and some fairly lame interactivity that could have been done better in Javascript on a web page. If this is the future of magazines, they can keep it. Don't waste your money.

        Oh, plus, they warn you that they're tracking your viewing. I guess it was nice of them to warn us, but part of the Brave New magazine experience I am *not* looking for is a little mini- Conde Nast- panopticon.

        • by martin-boundary (547041) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:45PM (#32370736)
          Have you ever bought the print edition of Wired? Half of it is ads already. They were simply trying to replicate the print edition feel :)
          • by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @08:18PM (#32370966) Homepage

            At least now when you flip the iPad up-side-down, subscription cards don't come falling out.

            • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

              by AHuxley (892839) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @08:36PM (#32371088) Homepage Journal
              Get the past issues and a cheap micrometer.
              Graph the health of the US tech sector based on the thickness and ads packed into years of Wired.
              The 2010 issues are thin :)
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by srodden (949473)
                Very thin :( I stopped buying Wired a long time ago because the signal to noise ratio dropped too low. Whenever I see it in the shops now it's 1/2 to 2/3 the thickness of what it was before and if anything, the signal:noise ration is even worse. For a while I though having adverts for expensive cars, watches and single-malts was pretty cool, a mark that business leaders are finally get a little more tech savvy. But when adverts are 2/3 of the magazines and 1/2 the remaining 1/3 are multi-page foldouts with
                • Y'know, I never got the appeal of Wired Magazine from the get-go. Seemed like entirely too much flash and not enough substance to keep me interested. The whole "oh, we're edgy" thing ran pretty thin rather quickly. I looked at the advert for the ipad app, and concluded that they perfectly captured the feel of the magazine: all show, no substance, and too fat for their own good.

                  • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                    by Bing Tsher E (943915)

                    Wired was always just a crassly commercial clone of Mondo 2000 even in it's heyday. M2000 went away when it's function had been fulfilled. Wired carried on in it's banality. It was never, ever cool or with-it, but a lot of people never saw M2000, so have no frame of reference.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by mellon (7048)

                    I think Wired has some pretty interesting in-depth articles. But they're much easier to read on the web than in the print version. I'd love it if they figured out a way to make an interesting magazine on the iPad. But the one they just made isn't it. I think any magazine that demands a custom app to display it is barking up the wrong tree.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                    by Hognoxious (631665)

                    I know someone who is (or was) an occasional writer for it. He was an asshole, so that was reason enough for me to not buy it.

            • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @08:38PM (#32371098) Homepage

              At least now when you flip the iPad up-side-down, subscription cards don't come falling out.

              Don't worry, I'm sure there's an app for that.

            • by centuren (106470)

              At least now when you flip the iPad up-side-down, subscription cards don't come falling out.

              But then how do you keep track of where you last left off in iBooks?

            • But those are my free bookmarkers!

        • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cgenman (325138) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:03PM (#32371264) Homepage

          I'd say at least then they know what content you're interested in, but they already know that from the website.

          Really, they need to re-invent presenting text-based information in a way that takes advantage of the iPad's strengths above and beyond HTML. For the life of me, I can't figure out what those might be. You could do walkthroughs of 3d models and spaces, but nobody wants to generate those resources. You could create interactive systems that replicate what the article is talking about, but nobody wants to generate those resources (and could be done in flash anyway). Any sort of discussion system is better suited for HTML.

          Really, the only way this will be anything other than an additional way of selling a dead-tree edition or a PDF of the website is if they broke the structure entirely and went with some sort of whacked-out information metaphor spacing similar articles near eachother in 3D space, floated related back-issue information nearby, and possibly had unicorns that crapped screen readable serif fonts. They don't seem to be willing to take the risk making a jump into a radical new way of browsing information, so the actual use of the program is a bit moot.

    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:46PM (#32370750)

      I get dead-tree Wired for $10 a year; less than a buck an issue. So for the price of more than 5 such issues, I should buy a single issue with a glorified shovel-ware interface?

      Hmmm, let me think about that for a second. OK, no.

      Bad enough Wired never grew up out of its hipster typeface fetish, rendering many of the paper pages barely legible; I shudder to imagine what it looks like on an iPad.

      • by dangitman (862676)

        I get dead-tree Wired for $10 a year;

        Why?? That makes no sense whatsoever.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mihalis (28146)

        I get dead-tree Wired for $10 a year; less than a buck an issue. So for the price of more than 5 such issues, I should buy a single issue with a glorified shovel-ware interface?

        Hmmm, let me think about that for a second. OK, no.

        Yes, I agree with this. I get it cheap, too. I've been collecting it for years.

        Bad enough Wired never grew up out of its hipster typeface fetish, rendering many of the paper pages barely legible; I shudder to imagine what it looks like on an iPad.

        Completely not true. They gave up the illegible chaotic design many years ago. The main article text is all the same typeface black on white, laid out as normal (parallel to the bottom of the page). The diagonally set text on paisley backgrounds, or whatever, was fun for a bit, but stopped a long LONG time ago.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by alen (225700)

      that was $115,000 in revenue. how much did it cost to make this monstrosity? i bet they lost money.

      all the news i've read about the digital magazines on the iPad is that they are a bust. the print media screwed up their business model 10 years ago and no one wants to pay crazy prices to bail them out

      • by jo42 (227475)

        Well, they managed to make #1 top paid selling App on the App Store in just over 24 hours.

        I had no idea that there where that many dumbtarbs that bought iPads...

  • by DeadJesusRodeo (1813846) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:56PM (#32370304)
    re:"The article suggests this was done to get the app out quick after Flash was officially vetoed by Steve Jobs"

    Why quick? Wasn't all the years flash was excluded for the iPhone at all a hint? OOOOOh I get it - controversy = hitcounts! Linkbait me baby - linkbait me!

    I think the interface still needs a little work - but at least it wasn't nearly as painful as PopSci's efforts. NYT still rules the interface roost. I know where to go - it stays out of the way - and no tutorial on "how to read this magazine" (Time, I'm looking at you).

    Might also be nice to have the video play in the page as an option like the NYT too. Or stream it to save on space. I can live without video when I'm on a plane.
    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:03PM (#32370374)

      To be fair, it does appear to be related: Adobe built this app in Flash for Wired, intending to use the beta CS5's iPhone compilation. Once Apple banned that, they did a fairly hasty port, which appears to still use some sort of auto-compilation from InDesign. [venturebeat.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Why do you need a special application for "magazines"? They need text and images, which can easy be done in html and the iPad comes with a perfectly serviceable web browser that can read and display html. Or if they want to ensure offline viewing, just have the app grab a bunch of html and image files, store locally and browse there.
        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:41PM (#32370704) Journal
          Because the print guys are grasping at anything they can to distinguish themselves from the reams of text-and-images-in-HTML available for free in any browser.

          They are hoping(with some mixture of sheer desperation and modestly interesting UI quirks) that there is somehow a "digital magazine" that will allow them to get with this "digital" that they are losing all their readership and ad money to; but without sacrificing the "magazine" part.
        • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:05PM (#32371274) Journal

          Why do you need a special application for "magazines"?

          It's a form of DRM..

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          integrated instapaper (seriously - try instapaper for the ipad - it's scary cool when used with "print this page") functionality would be cool as shit. I'd pay through a paywall if the content was better than the web version - and wired.com is mostly a macroblog site - not their magazine content.

          They could create a paywall site for their paper content - and a little more - and create an instapaper-type version for offline local. They'd get both ipad and non-ipad readers all in one go.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        I thought the article scored more points on addressing the HTML 5 arguments (which are far more valid - and possibly why the NYT app is better (I don't know it's dev-dissection)).

        Bonus points for your book link. I meant to get that title a while ago and forgot about it. Just downloaded it for my kindle-reader iPad client - thx!
  • PDF!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrahamCox (741991) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:57PM (#32370320) Homepage
    Haven't they heard of PDF? I mean, it's not as if the iPad doesn't have PDF written into its DNA from top to bottom, and that the format was pretty much invented for the very purpose to which they are not putting it here.

    Jobs may have declared war on Adobe's Flash format but Adobe's PDF format is a whole other story.
    • by JSBiff (87824)

      I mean, really, is it *so hard* to create an online magazine? I never got the point of people downloading apps just to browse magazine articles and images. The web is pretty much designed for just that, so why not use it? PDF would work to, but I don't really see the point of not having it online? Maybe to allow you to download it and read it even if you don't have an Internet connection at the time you want to read (like, maybe, in-flight for example)? I suppose that might be a valid reason to want a pdf.

      • by cynyr (703126)
        well pdf does have some advantages, as you mention it is available offline. It also has doesn't have a load time anywhere near that of a rich web page over 3g. As for having it online, you then have to deal with keeping it inaccessable and taking payment, the app store sucks, but it does handle those rather well.
        • There's nothing stopping anyone from viewing an HTML document stored locally as long as it has all the content stored locally as well. I'm fairly sure you can design pages that gracefully reflow if they have optional online dynamic content thats temporarily unavailable as well.

      • Re:HTML? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by masmullin (1479239) <masmullin@gmail.com> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @08:25PM (#32371016)

        people wont pay for HTML. They think that HTML should be free. People will pay for an "app" because OHHHH its an APP Ohhhhhh!

        • by LanMan04 (790429)

          Well, just make the rendering engine webkit or something and POOF pretend it's a real app.

          Hell, Google just introduced a font API so you could replace all the normal text with some cool font to make it look more "bookish".

          http://code.google.com/apis/webfonts/ [google.com]

          • by krischik (781389)

            What you just described is called ePUB - a format for ebooks. Basicly XHTML in a zip file ad some optional DRM.

      • by Goaway (82658)

        I mean, really, is it *so hard* to create an online magazine?

        Yes. Yes, it is. HTML is just not up to the task of doing fancy layout.

        • by zmollusc (763634)

          How's this for a crazy idea, concentrate on putting in lots of new, useful information (and tag it appropriately) and let the browser do the layout according to its screen area and user's preferences?

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Well, you know the iPad/Pod way... a separate app for everything. Even if that means a separate 500 megabyte reader for each magazine subscription(!?) (For that size, it better have the next 10 years' worth of Wired pre-loaded!)
      • That's larger than my emacs installation, and I have three versions.

      • Wait, Wired even had to *code to flip pages portrait or
        landscape?

        I thought the makers of iPad had reached an agreement with the
        earth's gravitational forces to achieve such perfect harmony that
        you would know exactly when your plane is taking off,
        simply by the way the page is doing a 'Star Wars' thing.

    • by selven (1556643)

      I agree. And PDF is no longer really an Adobe format (I say this having recently created a PDF slideshow using LaTeX which I intend to show using Evince).

    • That is the proprietary magazine app that Apple was bundling with Macs for some years. It has the same animated page turning and a few other little touches. I think the sample issue that came with it was MacWorld.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      The iPad is now a living organism?
      How do you get a document format expressed in Deoxyribonucleic acid?

      • by GrahamCox (741991)
        metaphor |mtf| |-f|
        noun

        a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable : "I had fallen through a trapdoor of depression," said Mark, who was fond of theatrical metaphors | her poetry depends on suggestion and metaphor.
        a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, esp. something abstract : the amounts of money being lost by the company were enough to make it a metaphor for an industry that was teetering.

        DERIVATI
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285)
      Some magazines have gone insane over digital delivery. While sane popular magazines just deliver the magazine as a PDF, and journals allow you to download individual articles, some magazines are fighting the future as much as the music labels once did. One of the worst offenders is Make, and is why I don't really subscriber every year. They have the lamest online reader in existence, and it pretty much destroys any cred they have a DYI site.
    • Actualy ePUB is better for smaller screens. But apart from that you are right.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Idiomatick (976696)
      PDF is my most hated file format. (FLAC takes 2nd because people use it to make 3min songs into 50MB stupidities, I fail to see the purpose)

      PDFs, Like an image file but it can take more space (if it is image heavy) comes with security vulnerabilities, and requires a separate app to open. And if they used anything related to adobe reader it will be a horrifically bloated POS.
  • Well not for the ridiculously low price you can get it for in the USA anyways.... Maybe this is finally the solution for Canadians, because I like reading that magazine, good bathroom fodder. Unless they decide to cripple the app based on geo-location. Now can we get an Andriod app for this?
    • I can buy Wired at probably 15 places within a 10 minute bike ride of my house. In other words, nearly every magazine rack. The cover price? $5.99. Same as the US. A few cents better, actually, considering the exchange rate.

      Oh, unless you're talking about the awesome subscription deals. But I haven't subscribed to a magazine since I was 14. I prefer to pick them up when there's something compelling I want to read.

    • "...because I like reading that magazine, good bathroom fodder."

      Yes, but the side effects of using the pages as emergency toilet paper are...undesirable.

  • 500MB??!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:58PM (#32370324) Journal

    Insane!

    Each full page is a giant image...

    Ah ok... Don't want any copying and pasting...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The Popular Sciene magazine on the ipad only about 25MB. Downloading 500 megs is just crazy, specially if they are doing in app sales for future issues. The PS magazine does the in app sales. I'm pretty sure that the Time magazine also does the in app sales too. The problem with those magazines and several newspapers is that they have very high prices. $5 for an issue is insane.
      I think the PS magazine is very close to the Wired one, except for videos and so many ads:
      Video of PS mag [vimeo.com] (fast forward to the 1
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't want any copying and pasting...

      Allowing copy/paste is optional, not required. The only way this could possibly be their reasoning is if they have an extremely ill-informed developer, or if they were so paranoid as to worry about someone hacking their app and then enabling copy/paste. (At that point, the hacker would be better off just saving the image and running OCR on their desktop.)

  • For such a critical piece, it sure was a poor online reading experience; No graphics, fully justified blocks of text, as soon as I clicked the link my shoulders drooped a little.
  • by brit74 (831798) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:24PM (#32370580)
    Is this a review of the iPad as a magazine-reader ("Is This Really the Future of Magazines"), or a review of the Wired magazine App on the iPad? Judging from the title, it sounds like the former. I'd recommend looking at some other magazines or newspapers on the iPad if you're going to judge it as an eReader. For example, here's the USA Today App for the iPad (jump to 0:50) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5nJVtLygOM [youtube.com]
  • by nurbles (801091) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:30PM (#32370628) Homepage

    I had to cancel my subscription to WiReD because they have never, ever learned anything about readability and my eyesight has gotten to the point where I need a very bright light and a magnifying glass to read WiReD. I have no problem with books (paperback or hardcover) or most other magazines or newspapers, because for all of them, content is more important than style -- something that has NEVER been true at WiReD.

    I mention this because it is a perfect case for providing the magazine content in a format who's style the user may customize -- if they can understand that some people are actually trying to read their stuff and not just saying, "Wow! That's looks really cool. I wonder what it says?" It sounds like they did everything they could to avoid giving the user the ability to manipulate the presentation of their content, which seems to be almost the exact opposite of XML's purpose. I seriously hope that WiReD (and similar content providers) can get back to providing interesting/meaningful/useful content and restraining their style tinkering to the margins, where it belongs.

    I hope that the iPad version of the magazine at least allowed the reader to zoom and pan around the page, but knowing WiReD, they probably even disabled that because their strange sense of style demands that we suffer, um, I mean, view the entire page as a whole only.

    • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:34PM (#32370656) Homepage
      You're too old to be reading Wired. You're not their target customer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nerdfest (867930)
        Over the past 6 months their target audience seems to have been people who want to buy an iPad. The ratio of Apple content on the site is higher than Slashdot, which has been bad enough itself lately.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by vilain (127070)
      When Wired first came out, I couldn't read it either. I flip through it while standing in line at FRYS only to put it back wondering who could read it. Seems after reading various books on aging that wired was targeting young eyes intentionally. Now that it's been out a while, the original crowd can't read it any more. Ironic. Appropriate. We should all send an email to their layout manager saying "GET OFF MY LAWN". I wonder who their revenues are doing with the original readers now to old to actuall
    • by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @08:54PM (#32371196)

      Dear God, yes. If they ever do a Hellraiser movie in which one of the cenobites is a graphic designer, he'll drag people to hell using issues of Wired.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      i would like to give you props, however, for properly captializing Wired's titles every time you used it.
      i am impressed.

  • by Bysshe (1330263) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:52PM (#32370780)
    Is the iPad (and similar devices) the future of magazines? Short Answer: No

    Long Answer: Just do the numbers. Time Magazine has a circulation of 3.3million [wikipedia.org]. Which is 1% of the US population roughly. Now if the same ratio holds true that Time would get a 1% market share of ipad users, that would make for currently... 10,000+/- ipad subscriptions. Even if the ratio is skewed totally out of proportion... Its simply not interesting from a business perspective to shift your content strategy to targeting ipads anytime soon. It will take a lot more than a few million ipads and ipad type devices sold for magazines to shift focus.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed.
      You won't be sitting in a dentist's waiting room where they have provided a pile of iPads to browse while you wait.
      Physical editions will be around for some time yet.

    • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:37PM (#32371824)

      Your numbers assume that every person is the same as any other from an advertiser's point of view and that simply isn't true. This is just a guess, but I bet the iPad owning demographic is very desirable for advertisers. These are people who have disposable income and they aren't afraid to dispose of it.

      Those 10,000 iPad readers may be worth much, much more than the same number of print readers.

      What really matters in this game is where advertisers are willing to buy ads.

  • by Yvan256 (722131)

    Does that means the iPad is MPC Level 8?

  • by Punto (100573) <puntob.gmail@com> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:58PM (#32370826) Homepage

    Doesn't the iphone have a web browser?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by masmullin (1479239)

      people wont pay for HTML. They can already get the HTML for free. the Mactards will however, pay for an app because "ohhhh its an app ohhhh!"

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:25PM (#32371392)

    It was always pretty rare for a magazine to be worth reading from cover to cover. Arguably, editors try to avoid that, since a magazine all of whose contents are interesting to its readers is going to have a very small and specialized subscriber base. Instead, editors try to appeal to a wider group, with the end result being that any given reader is only going to care about a fraction of the content. And this model worked pretty well as long as publication was capital-intensive. The web pretty much put an end to that.

    Obviously, it depends on what you're interested in, but nowadays you can find some or all of the kind of content that interests you for free, so unless you're after something highly specialized, you don't have to purchase access at all, much less buy a bunch of content that you aren't interested in to get to the small fraction that does interest you. The old magazine model no longer has much relevance. If so many people hadn't been exposed to magazines before the rise of the web, it would probably never occur to anyone to create online "magazines".

    In the long run, someone is going to figure out how to aggregate related content, probably with a high degree of personalization, in such a way that both the aggregator and the content creator get to expose readers to ads and thereby make money. This is basically already Google's approach, and they're making money hand over fist, but they're the ultimate generalists. The more specialized territory is still up for grabs, though it appears likely that specialized aggregators are more likely to evolve from blogs and wikis than search engines.

    But the magazine? It existed only because of a resource scarcity that no longer exists. Trying to make the magazine work in the age of the Internet is like trying to keep a ferry business alive after the bridge has been built.

    • by King_TJ (85913)

      I'm not so sure.... I think there's always going to be a market for inexpensive "dead tree" publications, geared towards pleasure-reading. The web is a great, powerful resource - but it still has some "barriers to entry", including a need for a relatively expensive electronic device to view it with and some type of connectivity. Until we reach the point envisioned in cyberpunk novels where we're all networked to the "grid" with chips implanted in our brains, a paper magazine is going to be really practi

    • Only a very few magazines have a substantial lifetime. When you look at the numbers [magazine.org], almost 4 new magazines are launched each week. So asking if they have a future is a bit silly. They never have had a future.

    • I can think of one magazine I that I read cover to cover on a weekly basis: The Economist. It seems to be one of the few sources that at least has reports and briefs on what is going on around the world beyond what is on the bbc homepage. And yes, I will be getting the iPad app if/when offered.

  • by Kohath (38547)

    Magazines don't have a future. Magazines suck. Just about every other information delivery mechanism has huge advantages over magazines.

  • by tyhockett (543454) <tyhockett@co[ ]st.net ['mca' in gap]> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:11PM (#32371678)

    So, I'm a long time prepress guy converted into a web designer and ultimately an online application developer. I make my living at a printing company that makes money putting ink on paper, and am always caught up in discussions and planning sessions where we prognosticate about what new electronic development is going to put a dent in the magazine business.

    Lots -- and I mean lots -- of industry experts have been predicting that the Apple tablet would be the beginning of the end of print. Of course, this has been predicted many times before: CD-ROMs were going to do it, then the web, then web-based digital editions, and now the iPad. But this time, the talk was at a fever pitch. Bosacks alerts were coming out months before the mainstream media picked up on the initial iPad hype. Lots of people thought this would be the one.

    And, it's not really, is it? And I didn't really think it would be either. When I try to imagine the electronic invention that replaces the utility of ink on paper (especially for magazines or other non-time-sensitive publishing), I can't really come up with an idea of what that might be. The online digital editions and iPad apps are cute -- even cool -- but they wouldn't stop me from throwing 128 pages of bound paper into a briefcase on a travel day. Besides, portable electronics are expensive and precarious. They need cases and screen protectors. They don't roll up. They aren't disposable if you spill your coffee on them.

    So, what's it going to be? What will the technology look like that actually makes publishers stop printing on paper altogether? I really don't know.

    • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:59PM (#32371942)

      they wouldn't stop me from throwing 128 pages of bound paper into a briefcase on a travel day

      And the guy sitting beside you on the plane will have every book ever published, entire magazine collections, and the means to search them, clip them, and annotate them on his tablet. I hope you don't have far to travel, because 86 of those 128 pages you are lugging around are advertisements.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tyhockett (543454)

        Right on. I get that. That's sort of my point.

        When I sit down on the plane, I really don't care to review an entire library of anything, and I'm probably not searching for anything in particular, or annotating or anything else. I just want to hold some glossy paper in front of my face to pass the time. Believe me, I understand the value of all those features. But it's the utility of a few sheets of paper that I turn to all the time.

      • by greg1104 (461138)

        I spent an hour in a plane that was stuck on the runway today, not an uncommon situation when traveling. The ban on electronic devices during takeoff was active the whole time; I read a magazine.

      • by mjwx (966435) on Friday May 28, 2010 @01:51AM (#32372684)

        And the guy sitting beside you on the plane will have every book ever published, entire magazine collections, and the means to search them, clip them, and annotate them on his tablet. I hope you don't have far to travel, because 86 of those 128 pages you are lugging around are advertisements.

        And the guy sitting beside him will actually be able to read because his dead tree isn't out of batteries.

        When I go on a flight, I'll pick a book or two to read like most people. I don't want 200,000 choices all indexed, I want one story beginning to end. If I need information indexed I'll use my laptop which is faster and better suited to the function. BTW, if 86 glossy A4 pages makes a difference to you, get to the gym as they will weigh less then 100 grams.

        The Ipad wont make one iota of difference to print media, much in the same way as the Kindle didn't or the Nook didn't. Why? Well that's simple, the people who are willing to give up on dead tree have done that already and get their information from the web. I don't get my industry information in print any more, I've completely switched to web (same with news) but my boss sits in his office reading his freshly delivered copy of BRW (Business Review Weekly) even though he knows the information is available for the same price minus delivery fee online. The accountant still walks in with a copy of the West Australian 3 days a week despite more up to date news being available on www.abc.net.au/news.

        Books are a different story, when the online version costs as much as the dead tree version I see no disadvantages, it's not like I'm going to dispose of a good book and a bad one goes to the 2nd hand bookstore (cant do that one with e-books).

    • Perhaps it will be an oled [slashdot.org] that rolls [slashdot.org] up like [slashdot.org] a magazine [slashdot.org]. Not that difficult to imagine.
  • People still read magazines? The "future" of magazines?
  • by tyrione (134248) on Friday May 28, 2010 @12:19AM (#32372340) Homepage
    experience while using Cocoa and Objective-C, don't blame Apple. Blame the limited talents of Adobe and Wired who developed the application.
  • I'm not sure an app is superior to a printed magazine as a user interface, but it does have one immense advantage: Distribution.

    No matter where I am: on the bus, at the cottage or on the wrong side of the globe an electronic distribution system can deliver the content as soon as it is available if I have a connection. Granted there are other limits too, but this is the main advantage as I see it. This is a general observation, and has nothing to do with the iPad btw... ;)

  • Download 500MB? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Friday May 28, 2010 @02:10AM (#32372738) Homepage

    What idiots. They're shipping an "application" that consists of over 4,000 image files and some XML. You have to download 500MB of stuff to read the magazine. How long is that going to take?

    Then there's the content problem. Wired, at this point, is basically a product catalog. Yet they didn't put a shopping cart system in the online version. That's just dumb. The demographic that buys both iPads and Wired would definitely click on "buy now" buttons.

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