How to Improve Digital Magazines?

Most magazine publishers we talk to these days have iPads. Usually there are one or two in the office. Sometimes more.

But I am not sure that many magazine publishers are really using their iPads at the coalface of their business. It is possible that our digital magazines would be a lot better if our office iPads were really hammered and driven. Here are some suggestions of what to do:

  1. Use the iPad for FaceTime with your contributors, colleagues, partners and distributors. FaceTime is brilliant on the iPad and you can both use the iPad to look at the magazine you may be discussing.
  2. Whenever you go to a Board meeting or a major account meeting, take your iPad with you and demonstrate the functionality of your digital magazine apps. Pass it around the table!
  3. Always look at every issue of your magazine on the iPad. It is surprising how many publishers regard the web edition or the print edition as their primary concern. It is not, the iPad app is now your best advertisement and should be your best version.
  4. Use your iPad for your presentations and PowerPoints (but they will not be PowerPoints, they will probably be Keynotes). You will find Keynote presentations are really easy to build with lots of slides taken from your magazine apps.
  5. Use the web browser and the email app on your iPad. These are really good tools on the iPad, and again: make sure that they work sweetly with your magazine app. Are the email addresses and the urls in your magazine app live? If not, why not? Why would you have an app that was so dumb as not to have live links and emails? A significant proportion of your readers will be reading on the iPad or on their iPhone. And its so easy and sweet to switch apps on the iOS devices. Help them to do that!

Magazine publishers need to use the iPad a great deal to see how good it can be for magazines. They also need to look quite critically at some of the poor magazine apps that have been parked in iTunes and are not doing justice to the magazines they serve.

And you should also be giving some very serious attention to the Amazon Kindle Fire….now shipping.

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