Ok, so I got suckered into downloading the Wired Magazine App for the iPad. What with the reports of 24,000 downloads, golly this must be good I thought, and of course wanting to play with my iPad and get bragging rights with my friends. But are you serious? This piece says it all, so I won’t repeat it: Is This the Future of Magazines or Why Didn’t They Just Use HTML5.
It really does feel like an 1990’s CDROM, and boy was I unhappy about the 500MB download. I thought it was just slow servers that led to the 10-15 minute download and install time, but nope, 500MB it is! For what, a slightly interactive slideshow? Most of the file size I’m sure if attributable to the video advertising, because most of the rest of the content is pretty weak on interactivity. Even the articles seem like they are a mere synopsis – only a couple of them go to more than a couple of screens of infomercial.
The alternative is Zinio, which I also tried yesterday. They have a reasonable range of titles, and whilst the interface is still not exactly interactive for many of them, they are at least interesting to read. I tried Macworld and National Geographic and they feel like reading the real magazine, which is what they are meant to be. And NG does have some stunning images. Certainly my friends who got a demo last night in the pub thought it was nice.
I only ask that websites start redesigning their lame old 90’s table driven markup to suit the iPad. Cleaned of as much advertising and banners and rubbish as possible, so that we the consumer can actually get on with what we want to do.