iPad App Ideas for Publishers

New media trends show that the iPad is bringing magazines back to life – why are we still resenting it?

The iPad is everywhere. It’s being used at Posh NYC restaurants as wine lists and menus, and it’s being doled out at hotels pre-loaded with newspapers.

So why is it that publishers are still struggling to come up with ways to use this device to sell their products? There are a few publishers doing a pretty rockin’ job with the iPad and have totally embraced the interactive nature of the device.

National Geographic

Now you can certainly get interactive issues via their iPad app, which is produced by Zinio. The issues feature video, slideshows, extra photos, and interactive maps. But hey, any publisher can do that, right?

Well how about their World Atlas HD app? According to their site, “the app is preloaded with 3 different styles of world maps, down to country-level detail,” and you can “learn more about the world around you using the up-to-date, expertly researched, Flags and Facts database which contains concise geographic and socio-economic data.” GPS enabled devices also let you “bookmark your favorite places with notes or pictures from your photo library.”

C’mon, how cool is that? Taking the theme of your publication and creating an educational tool from it.

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Guinness Book of World Records

This app found a way to leverage their wacky brand to come out with an even wackier iPad app. While not always intuitive, this iPad app brings you the same content you’d find in their publication, but is displayed in a more eye-catching and interactive fashion that makes you want to keep clicking forward.

Director of Research and Development Sara Öhrvall at Bonnier described their thought process when designing the well received Popular Science iPad app:

“The problem we’ve had so far with digital media is that print and other traditional media have really loyal audiences who carry emotional ties to the content,” says Öhrvall. “As soon as we move that content to the digital world, we lose that tie. But we figured that once there was a device in the market that you’d want to curl up with on your couch, then digital magazines would become interesting again. And something about the way people hold and touch the iPad made us feel that it was the perfect starting point for building a magazine.”

Are you re-thinking how you might be able to use the iPad yet?


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