Mac|Life Tablet Edition: What a digital magazine should be

Sep 10, 2010
Tech

Magazines have been trying to make the transition to the iPad with only moderate success. To really make it worth the purchase, the iPad version of a magazine needs to deliver great content while taking advantage of the iPad’s features and interface capabilities. Mac|Life Tablet Edition (free) offers a ton of content in an intuitive […]

Magazines have been trying to make the transition to the iPad with only moderate success. To really make it worth the purchase, the iPad version of a magazine needs to deliver great content while taking advantage of the iPad’s features and interface capabilities. Mac|Life Tablet Edition (free) offers a ton of content in an intuitive user interface that makes digital magazines a pleasure to read.

The app is referred to as “Issue Zero,” and its initial purpose is to provide a free issue that users can test out and provide feedback on. They make it very easy to email them to provide suggestions for new features or ways to make the experience more enjoyable. It’s likely that after this first release, the rest of the issues will be subscription-based. However, if the content and interface features continue to improve, this is absolutely one digital magazine I would willingly subscribe to.

The magazine is beautifully laid out. There is a table of contents, editor’s letter and quick navigation panel. In portrait mode, it works just like a real magazine, flipping from page to page. There are also ads, but they are actual pages, so you can interact with it if you choose, or simply flip to the next page. Tapping on the screen once will bring up a navigation panel on the bottom of the screen so you can instantly go to any page of the magazine. Also, videos play right within the app. The magazine features a great deal of application reviews for iOS devices. These reviews include interactive buttons, giving the user the ability to share the article via email, Twitter and Facebook. You can also comment on each review, and rate the app yourself.

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The app does have a few issues that need to be dealt with before moving forward. First of all, sometimes font sizes are too small to read comfortably, but there are no resize options available. There should at least be pinch/zoom capabilities. You should also be able to double tap to zoom into a paragraph. There are also screenshots in articles that are often too small to see. Lastly, when viewing the magazine in landscape mode, the text appears blurry.

I’m sure Mac|Life will continue to develop its iPad magazine and provide the features that users request. If you’re a fan of the print version, or just a lover of Apple products, this app is definitely for you.

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