Whether or not the iPad "saves" magazines isn't up to Apple: it will be, to a large extent, determined by what media companies will choose to do with Apple's new tablet.
Interview's iPad app, unveiled by Interview Inc. CEO Francis Malone to a group of journalists at the magazine's Soho offices earlier today, offers a glimpse at how magazines could creatively take advantage of the iPad to upgrade their content for the 21st century, incorporating social media, video, interactive features, and the web.
Interview, the brainchild of Andy Warhol and John Wilcock, is known for its bold colors, striking photo shoots, and image-heavy layout. The inaugural 'iPad issue' features interviews with Ke$ha, Justin Bieber, Spencer Sweeney, and Carey Mulligan, among others, as well as shirtless fashion shoot with the Jersey Shore crew.
The designers of the iPad app have attempted to showcase the magazine's eye-popping graphics on the tablet: each page of the magazine gets a full-page display (there's no option for a split-screen layout), and users are able to flip from one page to the next as they would on an iBook. A drop-down "table of contents" menu lets readers switch sections, and a footer underneath the page allows for scrolling through thumbnails of each article.
So far, pretty standard. It's when you begin tapping that things begin to get interesting.
Tap on an ad for Diesel, and up pops a bass-thumping video ad. Tap again, and, if you're online, you'll be taken straight to Diesel's Twitter page. Another ad page may take you directly to the brand's mobile shopping site.
On the iPad, Interview has supplemented its print content with video: click on the "Hard Shore" article about the Jersey Shore's slicked-up studs, and a behind-the-scenes video of Terry Richardson, the Situation, and Pauly D begins to play. Frustratingly, however, it's not always clear which articles have additional multimedia features.
Although the feature is still buggy, Interview promises to enable readers to share articles they're reading on the iPad directly to Twitter and Facebook, as well as to rate each article.
While Interview hasn't reinvented the magazine--Who'll be the first to offer the option of downloading single articles from an issue, as is currently the format for music? Who'll find a way of keeping users from skipping over the ad pages, as they can now? Who'll hyperlink the text of their articles?--their app, with its web integration and video features, may be a step in the right direction.
The app's initial launch price will be $.99. Check out a video preview of Interview on the iPad here.