updated 01:20 pm EDT, Thu August 19, 2010
People for iPad free for physical subs
People today put out its promised iPad magazine app (free, App Store) with the promise of a first for tablet magazines. The entertainment magazine is the first major title to directly acknowledge a paper subscription. An in-app authenticator will give those already subscribed to the paper magazine the option of downloading tablet issues for free as they become available.
Strictly digital subscribers pay the same $4 per issue common to other iPad magazines, making a paper subscription much more efficient even for those who have no intention of reading the physical edition.
The People tablet version is much like those published by both its parent company Time Inc. and by rival Conde Nast, as it preserves much of the format of the paper magazine but in a touchscreen-friendly format that also adds extra photos and videos as well as quicker navigation.
Publishers have turned to tablets and the iPad in particular as a perceived savior of the business, since the full color touch display preserves much of the visual layout work but adds Internet and media features for a more relevant format. Critics have regularly pointed to the web as being both more up to date and being more friendly to sharing content with others.