I don’t have an IPad. I’ll probably get one. Yesterday, at GRHQ we had our first meeting about the IPad. Is it our future? Maybe? It’s still a frontier, and you’d think when Apple releases an object like an IPad, it would get publishers involved in it early, but instead, it’s sort of like the first Macs. They released it without much software. IPad luckily can be adaptable from iPhone apps, so there’s a headstart, but how do you navigate a magazine on an iPad? Many have seen the Sport Illustrated Youtube video. It’s impressive and something most print publishers have seen. How easy is that going to be? If you’re a huge outlet, millions are going to be poured into an app like that, but for an indie, what will it be like? My main worry is that it’ll end up looking like a blog post, much like this one. You already get plenty of blog posts for free. We can easily place a whole issue online as a series of blog posts, which would be sad. Our magazine is far from a blog post. There really is a lot of work going into each article – much more than the text you’re getting right here. So the difference is presentation is navigation. The SI thing you see above is super thought out, it’s probably taken a team of consultants, designers, and more to create something like that. We don’t have that, but I suppose we can take bits and pieces that we like from everywhere to create our own. But at the same time, there’ll probably be tons of out of box solutions to make this easier. It’ll always take customizing time much like a Dreamweaver, Expression Engine, etc. Then hopefully it’ll be easy. It’s always strange when a new technology comes out, and the software and usability isn’t quite thought out yet at least for the indie folks who are a larger part of the consumer base than the SIs of the world.
Meanwhile, at GR, we’re making our print publication, and I can’t quite see a quick switch over to a pad like device, but we have our eyes on it.