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‘Wired’ scores on first iPad edition

A friend of mine was waiting for a flight recently and called to tell me that he was reading Wired magazine.

“And I can keep reading it when the plane takes off; they won’t make me put it away,” he said, clearly comparing his version with the first edition of Wired I’d just downloaded to the iPad.

“Sure, but can you watch a video clip from the Pixar story or get a 360-degree look at Iron Man’s suit?” I asked.

“No.”

“How about audio files? Does it play audio files?”

“No.”

“Mine does.”

“The little subscription cards probably don’t fall out of yours either, do they?”

“Nope.”

Along with the full text of the print edition, mine had more than 40 pieces of multimedia or interaction points. We paid the same price for both editions of the magazine, but I know mine was more fun to browse. Read the rest of this entry »

Do I need an app for that?

If your news organization hasn’t issued an iPhone app yet, you’re late to the party. You should be working on something forĀ  Google’s mobile operating system (Android) as well.

But before you gear up for your own iPad app, you need to ask a few questions:The Huffington Post iPad app

What can we do with an iPad app that we aren’t already doing on the website?

The answer to this question is critical. If you can’t come up with a good answer, you can stop thinking about investing any effort in an iPad app right now.

Many news organizations built apps for mobile phones because the functionality of their website was severely limited on the smaller screens.

But calling that same website up on the iPad with its 9.7-inch diagonal screen is different. In many cases, this will be enough for many news operations to take a pass on developing a new app. Plus, if their iPhone app was done well, it looks fine on the iPad, especially with the option to use it in its original size or a 2X version.

If you can’t come up with a way to use an iPad app to enhance the user experience you’re already offering on the website, you might want to rethink the project. Creating templates and sending updates via RSS probably isn’t going to provide a better user experience.

It’s also very possible that you’ll be providing less functionality in an iPad app if you’re not prepared to find substitutes for Flash video players or other widgets offered on the website. I was surprised to see this was the case with the Huffington Post’s iPad app. It was really a watered down version of the website. Read the rest of this entry »

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