BREAKING NEWS & VIEWS
GQ Relaunches on iPad, Cancels iPhone App
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
More to the point, GQ has been much-enhanced for this relaunch. The pages have oversized directional icons to steeer the reader through vertical and lateral page swipes. The content has been significantly optimized for interactivity and to encourage a persistent tapping and swiping. Tappable slide shows abound and there is sufficient eye-candy to keep the reader engaged with the content. Colorful splash pages separate the major sections of the magazine and contain shortcuts to internal elements of each area. Links to Web-based complements are also plentiful, including call-outs to GQ.com blogs and the libraries of celebrity shoots.
Among our favorite interactive bits of business is the Lady Gaga Paper Doll that superimposes onto the singing star suitably outrageous outfits. There are also numerous audio tracks added to features, including Tina Fey reading from her new book. The main feature on Zach Galifianakis has the reader tap up missing words and reformats the full article text for much easier reading on the tablet. In the previous tablet magazine engine for GQ, articles broke down into a reading pane and an image marquee. This page-like experience is more satisfying.
What is lost in the new engine is compatibility with the iPhone. While GQ has been publishing to both tablet and smartphone platforms since last year, the new and subsequent issues will no longer be available for the iPhone and iPod touch, Condé Nast says. Also missing from GQ for iPad is social sharing tools. Wired introduced Facebook and Twitter tools in the refresh of its iPad magazine recently, but we aren’t seeing the same model applied in the GQ app yet. The text reading experience in most of the standard articles is just good enough, but it feels flat in comparison to the jazzier content. Font adjustments and some zoom capabilities would be appreciated.
In its basic design, however, GQ for iPad demonstrates how much some magazines have learned about engagement on the tablet in the last year. The approach seems intent on keeping the reader tapping and swiping, moving and interacting on most pages. Even small things like putting a sidebar into a scrollable box rather than leaving it as a static block on the page seems calculated to keep the reader’s fingers on the screen and always in contact with the experience. An illustration of a lotion bottle on the bottom of one article spits cream when you tap it.
Of course, the interactive animation is at the bottom of a piece about oral sex, so one could say there was some whimsical editorial purpose here. But generally it is just a bit of tablet fun of the sort GQ designers think we want.
But is this what we want magazines on a tablet to feel like and act? Who knows for sure yet? But it is heartening to see publishers take these leaps and help us all find out.
If you have breaking news to share please contact min’s editors.
|Copyright © 2013 Access Intelligence, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Access Intelligence, LLC is prohibited. For more details please see Terms and Conditions.|