EYE Chart and Award: Two different approaches to tablet platform from a digital-only publisher and a print publisher

Now that GigaOM has proclaimed the tablet magazine a failure I suppose we can simply stop everything we are doing and go back to producing print magazines for distribution at our local Borders (except that there are no local Borders anymore). But since the thought that there is no future to tablet publishing is an old one, proclaimed by more than a few just weeks after the platform’s inception, I think we’ll just keep talking about tablet magazines here, as we have for three and a half years now.

EyeChart-iPad-lgOf the batch of new magazines to hit the Newsstand this last week, one feels like a reformatting from the web, while the other is from print.

EYE Chart Magazine is an attempt at a Monday-Friday news magazine for Apple and tech news, priced at $1.99 per issue, or $4.99 per month.

The digital-only magazine uses the MagCast platform to build its tablet publication. MagCast been successful at attracting new would-be publishers to their platform – in this case, Kenneth Ray – though the solution is pretty much the same as other PDF based systems. What makes these tablet publications a little better is that they are designed specifically for the iPad – rather than being a print title reduced down to iPad specs.

For me, the magazine would be better served as a blog. But the advantage of an iPad magazine, of course, is the ability to charge readers.

Award-iPad-lgAward Magazine is, in fact, a print magazine that has now moved into the Newsstand with a tablet edition.

Here the publisher, Canada Wide Media, is presented with a choice about how to bring their quarterly print title to the iPad. They could choose to do a replica, as so many do, or reformat the editorial in order to make it native to the platform. Using the Adobe DPS, this is the solution they have chosen.

What is presented here is a hybrid edition – advertisements as seen in print, with reformatted editorial. While the thin, MagCast app takes up only 22 MB of space on one’s tablet – both because of its lack of content and its choice of pltform – Award Magazine takes 318 MB with the issue downloaded.

What the reader gives up in tablet storage one gains back in their wallet: Award Magazine, unlike the smaller title, is free of charge to access.

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