One of my favorite magazines, Better Homes and Gardens, has just released the magazine as an app. The app is free and at the moment magazines are purchased by the issue at $3.99 each. I have looked at the web-based version of the magazine and found it too clunky so I had high hopes for this one. I was not disappointed.
It took a long time to download the issue – all 200+MB of it, but the moment I opened it I knew it was worth it. This is NOT a PDF version of the print magazine, but beautifully designed for the tablet screen. The first pages provided a quick overview of how the app worked and then it was on to the content that makes this such an enjoyable magazine. The photos are just as gorgeous as in the print version and they take advantage of the multimedia capabilities the iPad offers but as an integral part of the story rather than as a gimmick to show off. In the room makeover article, the designer described the challenges and solutions in the project. One of the recipe articles had a couple of small videos showing techniques. The actual recipe has its own page including a button to print or share it (not functional yet).
Where floor plan or landscape layouts in the print magazine have boxes describing the various features of the design, here they used hot spots. You tapped on the icon and the info box popped up with the descriptive information. Even the advertising – there wasn’t that much – was impressive. At the end of the issue there was a request to provide feedback in a survey.
I have questions. Since the issues are such large files, will there be an online archive so I can access previous issues whenever I wish? Will there be a way I can “clip” articles or recipes I want to keep and build a library for them? How much sharing will be allowed? After being blown away with the “first edition” I’m definitely looking forward to watching BH&G mature on the iPad. It’s $3.99 well spent.
And, it’s giving me all kinds of great layout ideas for my family history projects!