by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
ipad, magazines, sports illustrated, tablets, ui, wired


Why Can't All These Ideas For Content On The iPad/Tablets Also Work On The Web?

from the i'm-confused dept

Last month, at a panel in Silicon Valley on the future of journalism, one of the topics of discussion was whether or not tablet computing would be the "savior" of news, with most of the focus being on a recent video put together by Sports Illustrated of what a specialized tablet version of the magazine might look like. More recently, Wired Magazine demonstrated a working prototype of a tabletized version of the magazine. Both of these demos are certainly impressive -- but I'll say the same thing that I said about the SI demo on that panel discussion: why is the focus on the hardware? Nothing in either demo really requires a tablet. If this format is so compelling, why aren't these publications already offering it for use on regular computers? Certainly, the ability to use touchscreen controls is nice, but you could easily replicate the basics with a mouse. If the overall format is so compelling, then what does it have to do with a tablet/iPad, specifically? Now, perhaps Wired does intend for this to be useful on other platforms, as its version is just an Adobe AIR app, and so it could function just fine on a desktop/laptop, but again, the video seems to keep focusing on the tablet as if that's necessary. Yes, perhaps the form factor of a tablet computer makes this experience more enjoyable, but I think it's important in judging whether or not these apps actually make sense to separate the hardware from the software, to see if either makes sense without the other, or if they really are joined at the hip.

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  1. identicon
    Rachel @ Last Res0rt, 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:50am

    We do - but folks are more willing to pay for eBooks on an iPad...

    The iPad is a digital book reader, and it's the first one where color books are an option. It's not that the same methods for pushing content don't work on the internet, but the utilities are different.

    If I wanted to sell a digital version of my comic books, I'd either have to sell an eBook online, (and deal with not only reduced sales since a "free" online version is already available, but also a certain level of piracy), or sell a greyscale'd "Kindle" version which would be of lower quality / value. The iPad offers a touch more security and a better form factor.

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