29 May 2010 lloydwood   » (Journeyer)

Wired goes a bit CD-ROM

Wired Magazine have launched their latest issue as an iPad app costing US$4.99. It's large enough to require a CD-ROM to save a copy on.

The app will fill up 527 mb of your iPad storage space and takes approximately 10 minutes to download. [..] Here are a few issues I found within the app. First was the price. I’m sure I won’t be the only one complaining about the ridiculously high price per issue when you can easily buy a year’s worth of the printed copy for only $10. Also the file size is cause for concern. Not only is the app 527 mb too big, but it takes a long time to download and if you only paid for the 250 mb data plan for your 3G iPad, you’re just sheer out of luck.
-- WIRED Magazine for iPad review, Mary Ann Neder, IPADMODO, 28 May 2010.

You could fit a movie in that app filesize. Or the complete works of the Beatles.

all the fonts on the Wired app were rendered on a desktop platform, and provisioned to the app in the form of flat PNG files. The Wired app does not use the iPad’s rendering software at all.
-- Comment by Jonathan Hoefler to: WIRED on iPad: Just like a Paper Tiger… by Oliver Reichenstein.

Well, that's one reason why the app is so large. The other would be the included advertisements that you buy along with the app.

And how does screen reading or translation software work with flat PNG files?

it all seems a bit CD-ROM.
-- cd-roms and ipads, Danny O'Brien, former Wired journalist, Oblomovka, 1 April 2010.

(It's a pity for his comparison that the Wired app is only available through iTunes, and not included in a CD-ROM on the cover of the printed magazine as well.) How long will Wired's venture into e-publishing for a single platform last? Danny's musing on production costs and comparisons with CD-ROMs, and the demise of Wired UK the first time around suggests not very long at all.

M y opinion of Wired hasn't changed. It's still easier and cheaper to read their articles online with a web browser. Still, iPad early adopters are by definition Wired's target audience, explaining the claims of 24,000 app copies sold with the first edition of the app. There's a sucker docked every minute. Better hope they don't want continued access to back issues; two years' worth of issues this size will fill up the 16GB iPad.

Still, this publishing venture won't last that long in this form.

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