There’s been a lot of talk of the iPad being a sort of ‘savior’ device for newspapers and magazines. Time is a leading magazine title – here in the US and even worldwide I believe. What better way to discover the new Time Magazine for iPad than to purchase the April 12 issue of it, with its cover leading on Steve Jobs and the iPad.
I hadn’t even realized Time were already producing individual issues just for the iPad, until this morning – and as soon as I did I grabbed up this issue (which was sold out in all the newsagents near me). I’ve spent a good amount of time with Time this morning – and have some thoughts and lots of screencaps to share below …
Time Magazine on the iPad delivers some things that you’d expect if you’ve ever read the printed version of it – like great photography throughout …
Powerful images of topical events …
Time covers a broad range of subjects and offers some compelling content. In this issue in particular – the April 12th issue – we get Time’s look at the iPad and a wonderful, short interview of Steve Jobs, conducted by the amazing Stephen Fry. One amazing man interviewed by another – you can’t beat that for quality content. It was lovely seeing Fry admit that he’s interviewed 5 British Prime Ministers and 2 US Presidents and never felt more nervous than during this one.
The photos, old and new, of Jobs in this issue are all superb.
Of course, the iPad issue lets you take in some of Time’s strong content in new ways. For instance, a ’10 Questions’ interview piece with Alicia Keys, can be read and enjoyed, or you can simply rotate the iPad and watch a video of the whole interview, with some clips of her songs thrown in for good measure.
The user interface for the app is great. It’s minimal and very effective. There is also a Help Guide for newcomers with diagrams and instructions on how and where to swipe and pinch and navigate around. For veteran iPhone / iPad users it’s not needed, but it’s a nice touch.
Scrolling left or right takes you through the magazine’s pages. Scrolling up or down is how you advance through an individual article.
Tapping once anywhere on a page toggles up or down the bottom navigation bar. This offers just three buttons – for Cover, Contents, and Newsfeed.
Cover takes you out for a look at the front cover image. Contents gives you a Coverflow style view of all the content of this issue. A single tap on any page or advertisement takes you to it. Newsfeed takes you out to Time.com – with access to all of its content via quite a nice inline browser.
In this issue there’s a letter from the editor type article titled ‘Ushering in a New Era’. I think it’s very well done. It ends like this:
There are a few things that could do with improvement in the app, but it’s not a long list. Sometimes it gets a swipe gesture wrong and scrolls page left rather than down – not often enough to be bothersome though. It could do with a search bar somewhere and an ability to bookmark pages / places. There’s also no way to share anything – via email / Twitter etc. right now.
Overall though this is a very good app, and a great way to enjoy Time’s good content.
I wanted to be underwhelmed by this – but so far I just can’t. It’s a very nice way to read a magazine – minimal and effective UI, gorgeous photos, Stephen Fry interviewing Steve Jobs in Issue 1, a letter from the Editors that actually sounds like they have a clue about the digital age and their place in it.
Well worth the $4.99. I’m not sure I’ll pay that every week – in fact I’m pretty sure I won’t – but it’s a very good app digital publication.
Individual issues of Time Magazine for iPad are in the App Store now, priced at $4.99 each.