Sun Sentinel releases tablet app for special issue of its magazine
Almost a year ago, the Tribune Company appeared to be very interested in experimenting with tablet magazine apps. The Chicago Tribune, for instance, released several apps for the area’s pro sports teams, as well as new Newsstand apps for Printers Row Journal and Mosaic Chicago. But BearDownload disappeared about as quickly as the team’s playoff chances, along with the other Chicago sports magazine apps.
A new app, though, has been launched for Sun Sentinel Magazine, and though the app was launched under the Tribune Interactive developer account, I have to think this was completely a local effort.
The app looks to be still using the Mag+ platform, the digital publishing solution used by the older, and now missing, sports magazine apps. But the design work here is extremely simple, almost as if the tablet edition had been designed by the high school students that are featured inside.
(Another app called Central Florida Medicare Guide, released a year ago, has an icon with clip art that looked like it was cut out with a pair scissors, so bad was the design effort.)
The Tribune Company is spinning out its newspaper properties, of course, and still probably looking to sell them. This may explain the company’s halting efforts at digital publishing. But it doesn’t explain why the company doesn’t have more experienced designers at the individual properties.
Nonetheless, it’s good to see at least something launched for a Tribune newspaper, and the experience gained at the Florida newspaper by the designers will hopefully come in handy in the future.
The app is designed for portrait reading only, and most pages follow a similar look. Whether intentional or not, the font choices feel designed for an iPad mini, rather than a larger iPad. Despite being less than 50 pages in size, the download was still over 200 MB.