At the moment Project and Wired are the probably the best two examples of publishers starting to explore the possibilities of the iPad. But once you get over the video, timelapse and 3d spin arounds I wonder how quickly we'll tire of the gimmicks. I think the biggest benefit of a magazine on a tablet is the convenience.
The iPad means I just carry one lightweight screen instead of various newspapers and magazines when I travel. Having various daily newspapers, the Economist, Wired and various others all on the iPad means that I don't have to struggle with a broadsheet on a plane or weigh my hand luggage down with printed magazines.
I think the interesting developments are the ones based around personalising the content. The likes of Flipboard, Pulse News, Zite, Flud and MyTaptu are all in a similar space. I wrote a post a while ago on the Future Editors and how apps like these are changing our consumption of media. They put me in control and I become the editor. As long as I stay curious and look for new sources my 'inputs' are wider and more varied than they have ever been.
I particularly like Zite at the moment as it learns what I like and the more I interact with it the more I get back.I loved Flipboard when it came out and I still regularly use Flud. Mytaptu sits on my iphone and is another brilliant little aggregator.
I'm looking forward to a fusion of the interesting design and interactive elements that titles like Project and Wired are currently playing with and the personalised possibilities of Zite and Flipboard.
The publishing world is really going to change quickly this year. IPad shows off its capabilities with great publications like Project. Project is not just a print addition its Virgins entry as an IPad only mag. The connectivity and integration of technology is awesome.
Along the same line Eureka the science magazine from the London Times newspaper is leading the way. The app is 50 cents so well worth the download.
Wired started us all off and i'll be interested to see how they react this year.
I would like to see more magazines like Flip Book to enable general users to publish but in a more high end fashion.
Interview - if fashion falls in love with the iPad, there'll be no stopping the appetite for the device, and no shortage of media properties who would dive into app creation.
Interview has high style creds plus glamour coffee table appeal and a wide enough subject matter to hit a wide and influential audience.
I think boom areas that could follow might be travel, home furnishings and clothes - Flipboard, plus 'Brand created lifestyle mag I rate', plus iPhone 5 and iPad 2 swipe and purchase technologies makes the space between sampling potential life and then buying it, about one search and a couple of taps.
I'm not reading any - but I'm still reading RSS on the iPad. I think any publication that acts in a dynamic database driven way will be more useful for a tablet.
I have to agree with Andrea and Johannes.
The best magazine for iPad is waiting to be invented. For me Flipboard is an early indication of what is possible...
I've bought them all: Wired, WiredUK, Project, PopSci+, Interview, Intelligent Life and all the German attempts. The magazine folder on my iPad is the largest of all my iPad-folders. But I still don't believe in the concept ‘iPad magazine’. Magazines obviously come from the print world. They are pure print. The whole format, the presentation of content, the curation, the writing, everything is optimized for publishing on print.
The buzz about the iPad in the publishing industry reminds me of the buzz in the marketing world about Second Life a few years back. Everybody is excited because it seems they can now go back to what they know best and make a buck in the digital realm. The marketers were excited to do outdoor campaigns again in Second Life and the publishers are excited to to print publications but on digital devices.
Problem is, it has never worked out to approach a new format/screen/media/device with an old mindset. And that's why I think that no ‘iPad magazine’ will change the publishing and advertising industry. As long as publishers consider iPad magazines to be digital versions of their print magazines with some added interactive features, it won't work out. The iPad (and tablet devices in general) are a new entity in our everyday (digital) life and to create successful media for it, we have to put the user's use of devices and media throughout his day in the center and create an ecosystem of services to go with that.
What I hope for is that some publishers will take a good look at their core content and competence and pair that with their insights into the user's behavior to create completely new formats. If I had to bet money on a publisher, it would be Bonnier. I think their News+ concept is spot on: http://vimeo.com/17148059 (the two intro slides say it all)
While I would love to nominate Wired, I don't think there is enough evidence yet to say who is going be the clear innovation leader in the tablet magazine subscription world.
While I'm quite impressed with all the new levels of interactivity in the digital publishing industry, I don't think interactive interfaces are going to be a strong enough push to boost mainstream adaption rates. What I'm most interested in at the moment is in the possibility of incentive partnerships between magazine publishers and media companies, where tablet subscribers are rewarded with exclusive and free digital content in every issue.
The British magazine industry has been packaging their magazines with monthly novelties for years now, and British readers are used to receiving some kind of small gift with every issue. Traditionally this has been in forms of CD compilations, art prints, gadget accessories, free makeup samples and small licensed toys. Of course a lot of this is tat, but it does entice readers to purchase, and digital versions of these freebies could be very successful in luring readers to make the jump and commit to a yearly subscription.
The possibility of digital incentives is endless-- Free apps and games, coupons, to wall papers and skins, tutorial videos, avatar and in-game items, creative source files, celebrity content, music videos, ring tones, music downloads and remixes, and perhaps even augmented reality toys.
To make this work of course, the incentives are going to have to be pretty cool and worthwhile (none of the freeware sort). One can imagine, that there would be a lot of interested advertisers and companies both large and small willing to partner and provide content to promote their products and services.
So in sum, I think the change will happen when readers realize that there are 'incentives' for them to switch, and maybe this big 'want' factor will be the one to crown the king.