November 14, 2013 Last Updated 10:36 am

Second look: Wine LR gets update for iOS 7, a not so radical redefinition of the tablet mag

Wine magazine combines video interviews with winemakers with more traditional articles

One of the last tablet edition articles that appeared on the old blogger version of Talking New Media was a look at the new wine magazine app, Wine LR from Balthazar Matita. Since that app has appeared I have probably referred to it more times in conversations than any other tablet magazine – today it received its iOS 7 update.

WineLR-update-iPad-lgWine LR – LR stands for the French region Languedoc Roussillon – is not the most radical of digital magazines, or the most complicated. It simply looks at the tablet platform differently, as an outlet for their video. Then it puts that content in a digital magazine shell.

Sometimes the simplest of ideas helps to illustrate a bigger point: that the tablet platform needs to be thought of as a distinct publishing platform, not simply as an extension of print (or the web). This point, which is so obvious to the growing number of digital-only publishers launching publications, remains a difficult concept for others.

One person I spoke to, probably a month after Wine LR first appeared, has their own digital wine magazine. That publisher was having a difficult time getting downloads and paid subscribers. In our conversation I mentioned Wine LR, an app they were not familiar with. I asked what magazines inspired their own digital magazine and I received the answer that could be expected – the Wine Spectator and other print titles. That reference was obvious when looking at their own title, it tried very hard to resemble print, but in a Newsstand container.

I said it was too bad that they had not seen Wine LR, or other digital-only magazines, prior to launching their own. It might have provided a better reference point for them, and got them thinking about what they could do in the tablet platform that they could not do in print (digital wine tastings is, unfortunately, not one of those things possible just yet).

My only complaint with the digital magazine is probably that the video is shot widescreen, not specifically for the iPad, so the aspect ratio is a bit off. It would also be helpful if there were an English subtitle feature. There is an older app still in the App Store for an English language version of the app, but it has not been updated in over a year.

If you are still stuck on creating a very print oriented tablet edition, check out Wine LR, it isn’t as radical a vision as the three apps profiled yesterday that use the Origami Engine platform. But it might get you to thinking a bit differently about what a tablet magazine should be.

Here is a new video walk-though, well worth a quick peek:

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