updated 01:55 pm EST, Sat February 13, 2010
Wired for iPad first iPad-ready magazine
Conde Nast's Wired at the TED conference Friday said it would have an iPad-native version of its magazine available by the summer. The demo by Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson of a prototype showed a simple navigation system that would use gestures and the iPad's native features to improve on the experience versus a website. Swipes left and right navigate through individual articles; picking an article and then swiping up or down scrolls through the entire story.
On the iPad, the accelerometer will change the layout depending on orientation. Pivoting to landscape mode will show two pages side-by-side. Enhanced media will be a logical staple of the design as it will let users watch videos or control 3D models.
Pricing would also be a key to the business model for the magazine. While a Wired subscription costs $40 US per year and increase to as much as $64 Canadian or $70 US internationally, the lack of physical distribution should make iPad pricing "considerably less." It's not known if Conde Nast will make an iBookstore version available as well or limit it to a native app; magazines like GQ are already available through the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch users.
The move represents one of the first major magazines specifically optimized for tablet devices of any kind and could be a potential early win for Apple in its attempts to convert readers away from e-book readers with magazine elements, such as the Kindle and Nook. These have the advantage of free 3G access to automatically download subscriptions but are limited by grayscale e-paper screens that can't display video or support a touch interface.