November 26, 2013 Last Updated 3:08 pm

Meredith launches a replica edition Newsstand app for their new print magazine Allrecipes

When one starts out digital-only and then launches a print magazine, one might think that a tablet version of the magazine would be native to digital. But Meredith has chosen to launch a replica edition of its newly launched Allrecipes magazine. Readers will find that sticking to the website will prove a better reading experience.

Allrecipes-iPad-coverThe new Newsstand app for Allrecipes is especially disappointing because of the brands digital origins, but the disappointment is compounded when one considers that this is a cooking magazine.

Cooking magazines for tablets have been experimenting with the platform from the beginning and if there is one thing readers seem to agree on, it is that the replica edition is not appropriate. Readers want to be able to access the recipes in landscape, they don’t want to have to struggle to read the ingredients and cooking instructions, etc.

The Meredith magazine certain looks very healthy here. A couple of two-page spreads open up the magazine, and there is plenty of other ads throughout the issue. Unfortunately, as soon as the reader opens the digital editions the problems start. The two pages Chevrolet is chopped up onto two iPad pages, but the ad still works. The following ad from Diamond foods does not. The publisher is basically telling the advertiser “don’t do spreads.”

Allrecipes-iPad-1Often the solution from major magazine publishers has been to resign oneself to the fact that agencies will not give them new creative for their tablet editions and so create what TNM calls a hybrid editions: a replica of print for the ads, but reformatted material for the editorial content. This solution would be hard here as the publisher has chosen to go portrait only.

But there is still a solution available that would have saved the day: do a complete replica in portrait, but have the recipe pages offer a “cooking mode” that produces pages in landscape.

There is some accommodation for tablets here, however. Recipe pages contain links to videos that show how to make the recipes found in the magazine. The links lead to online videos rather than embedded videos, but this choice is logical as embedding all the video would have led to a ridiculously large file size.

Allrecipes is offering a monthly subscription for $1.99, and an annual subscription for $11.99 (the magazine is published six times per year). Individual issues are priced at $4.99.

As someone who does much of the cooking in our household, including Thanksgiving, I can say that I still prefer websites to many of the tablet editions produced so far. Allrecipes.com will remain a favorite website to access; this app, though, doesn’t cut it.