Right after the iPad was introduced, the folks from Wired Magazine did a presentation of things to come for their Magazine to be available on the iPad. It wouldn’t just be a page turner, the iPad version would have all sorts of interaction and more robust than the then available electronic magazines could do.
The first version of Wired on the iPad has appeared in the iTunes App Store. It is the June issue for $4.99 and weighing in at 527 megs. The size tells you right off that you will be able to enjoy most of the power of the magazine without needing to be connected to the Internet. Zinio’s magazines are very nice but to get higher resolution views of the pages (zoom in), the page is pulled from the Internet at that time, keeping the magazine a small file size on the iPad.
The cover has active hot spots which tapping will either open videos or take you directly to the article the text is about.
The articles scroll top to bottom, rather than to the side. This means that the magazine isn’t a long series of pages, rather a series of stacks – each stack is a article. Tapping any page takes you to that page. The text is very readable exactly as is, no need to have a ‘text only’ view.
From any page, you are able to jump back to the cover, see a list of articles (no need to go to the ‘contents’ page of the magazine like you would with print version) and go to the side-by-side view of the article ‘stacks’.
In the current issue, there are several pages with graphics on them. Tapping the pie chart moves to the next in the series of informational graphics. No need to swipe from page to page. Everything follows Apple’s design rules but enhanced to the next level in a good way.
What we have yet to see is how future copies of the Wired Magazine will be handled. Will a subscription for a one time pay for 12 issues be offered? Will each month show as a individual app icon or will they drop into the single icon that opens to the option to choose the different months? Can you even have multi months on your iPad. And, lastly, what is the plan to move copies you have purchased on/off of your iPad… at the current rate, two months will take up more than a gig of your memory.