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

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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  • Re:500MB??!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AresTheImpaler ( 570208 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @08:34PM (#32370660)
    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 [] (fast forward to the 1 min mark).
  • by Burz ( 138833 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:03PM (#32370864) Homepage Journal

    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 vilain ( 127070 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:12PM (#32370928)
    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 actually read the thing.
  • Re:Obviously... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thms ( 1339227 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:31PM (#32371060)

    the eyesight myth

    That is not a complete myth, you do indeed develop shortsightedness from reading from an iPad or anything else held at an arms length. Though develop means you still have to be growing, i.e. a kid. So sending them outside to play instead of sitting in front of a screen does have its merits.

    The study I remember was comparing kids in Israel. Some grew up in highly religious communities where they spend a lot of time reading the Torah, the other half grew up in more secular communities. The result was that those who read more were more likely to become short sighted. There is truth to the bespectacled intellectual stereotype.

    IIRC the proposed mechanism is that the signal quality which the neurons receive influence the elongation of the eye, and focusing on near objects somehow makes them grow longer. Terrible control mechanism for the correct eye size, typical evolutionary hackjob :)

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:36PM (#32371088) 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:PDF!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:42PM (#32371118) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by DeadJesusRodeo ( 1813846 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:13PM (#32371320)
    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 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.
  • by tyhockett ( 543454 ) <tyhockett@comca[ ]net ['st.' in gap]> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @11:11PM (#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.

  • Re:Obviously... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Cheech Wizard ( 698728 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @12:09AM (#32372002) Homepage
    Mama always told me "Don't sit so close to the TV. It'll ruin your eyes." Since the 1980's I've sat in front of a computer monitor for hours on end (I even have my 'monitor glasses' fixed at 1.5 to 2.5 feet). ;)
  • by tyhockett ( 543454 ) <tyhockett@comca[ ]net ['st.' in gap]> on Friday May 28, 2010 @12:51AM (#32372222)

    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.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mellon ( 7048 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @01:01AM (#32372264) Homepage

    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:Obviously... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cochonou ( 576531 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @01:46AM (#32372430) Homepage
    Yes, there is usually a link between intellectual activities which force you to focus your sight to close objects (it used to be mainly reading, but now it is also using a computer), and nearsightedness. Of course, correlation is not causation, etc.
    It is also known that the kind of corrective lenses used will affect the evolution of nearsightedness. You don't get the same results using glasses, contacts, overcorrection or undercorrection.

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