Last night I purchased a copy of the Time magazine iPad app (at $4.99) because I wanted to see what the venerable but declining publication would look like on the new device. I was pleased to see a version of the magazine that looked more like a magazine than the PC version, yet used the dynamic capabilities of the iPad to do some interesting things with formatting, navigation and ads.
The larger and more visual nature of the magazine on the iPad makes it very different than reading or skimming Time online. It “brings out the brand” and restores some of the lustre of Time the once iconic news publication. Online, Time is more or less “just another news site” in a flat universe of endless news sites and aggregators.
The iPad version is something quite different, as I suspected it would be.
Advertising on the device offers a wide range of interesting possibilities . . .
The striking thing is how visual it is. The pages of the Time app are “magazine-like,” with large images, pull quotes and graphics — not compressed as on the PC. By contrast the “Editors Choice” NY Times app is, to use the vernacular, “lame” because it was no doubt quickly done and without much imagination. This is truly a new medium, as different from the iPhone as it is the PC Internet, and it needs to be approached accordingly.
We’ll see how many iPads sold (estimates are 700K so far) and whether the device becomes mainstream (with a price cut it will). But if it does have momentum and it is a success the iPad will mark the beginning of a new period of “personal computing” and “mobile advertising.”