As promised by Hugh Hefner, Playboy Magazine has hit the iPad. It hasn’t been released in the App Store, where it might have been rejected or watered down; but instead as a web app.
It’s available today at i.playboy.com via the iPad’s Safari browser. The app provides access to current issues and all of the Playboy archives dating back decades. To access this content, you need to subscribe / become a member. There are currently three membership plans available: Monthly at $8 per month, Yearly at $60, and a 2-Year membership at $100. All are auto-renewing.
I took a look at the app this morning and I think it’s pretty well done. It feels a lot like some of the native magazine apps I’ve used on the iPad. It’s easy to browse back issues by decade and year, or search for specific content. Pages load reasonably quickly, though obviously not as fast as within a good native app.
Although it’s touted as having all its content optimized for viewing on the iPad, I found that article text (which is what I’ve heard everyone goes to Playboy for) is not rendered as well as images are. This definitely needs work – though I imagine for some it may not be a dealbreaker sort of issue.
Fans of Playboy should be happy with this iPad version of it. It has avoided App Store censorship and offers access to every issue of Playboy ever published. It’s also a good example of what can be done in an iPad web app even with no Flash support.