iPad Indies

Have I mentioned my love of the blog Gym Glass Magazine? It was there that I discovered Linefeed — Michael Bojkowski’s blog with amazing video reviews of current magazines. His reviews (or, maybe, surveys) are so cool — they’re just him, flipping through a stack of recent issues and commenting on them. I’d love to see someone do the same for websites, or interfaces. It’s a very personal way of reviewing work, and his tone is just perfect. Here’s a recent example:

So a couple other recent posts on Gym Class Magazines about digital magazines seemed to relate, in a somewhat roundabout way, to Linefeed. (I think the theme here is going to be about intimacy.)

We’ve been waiting for big publishers, for so long, to evolve their content into something relevant, and appropriate, for tablets/iPads. But so far what they’ve produced is pretty traditional — an adaptation of their existing formats. And a recent panel of digital publishers (video below) gives some understanding of why they’re so slow. But it was good of Hamish Robertson to point out that a there’s some more interesting stuff happening in the indie iPad magazine space.

Hamish calls out Letter to Jane — a self-published magazine for the iPad and iPhone by Tim Moore. The focus is contemporary art and pop culture. And it’s interface is simple — “This is one of those apps where you press a button to go somewhere, double tap to change the screen, and swipe to read more.” It’s simple, beautiful, and feels really nice on the iPad.

Another interesting small digital magazine is Astronaut. It’s more video-based (and thus a heavy download), and has some nice interface touches. And Gym Class Magazine has an interview with Anne Prinz – one of the magazine’s co-founders.

Both are worth downloading and spending some time with. It’s interesting to see how they each quietly explore (or “poke-at”?) what it means to be an iPad magazine — even if there isn’t anything particularly revolutionary about them.

Can, or should, the big guys learn from these examples?

Letters to Jane
Letters to Jane
Astronaut
Astronaut