Mac|Life for iPad e-Zine: Content is Great, Layout is Old School, 1st Issue is Free

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Most Mac fans are probably familiar with Mac Life magazine. They are the latest (though certainly not the last).

Mac|Life Tablet Edition

This first digital edition for the iPad (Mac Life calls its a “tablet edition” for some reason) looks and feels much like every other e-magazine I’ve read on the iPad. This includes the usual side-swipe stutter that seems to happen if a page is scrolled slightly down (vertical) before trying to move to the next page. And, like other other e-zines, this app and its content is gigantic weighing in just under 200MB. The major problem with the app is that its layout follows traditional paper page layouts much too closely. Magazine page designers need to break out of thinking they are desiging for paper pages. What works on paper does not work on screens.

This first e-issue is free. So, grab a copy. The next e-issue will be a separate app priced at $1.99. This is much more reasonable than the $4.99 we’ve seen for other iPad magazines. This seems about the right price for e-zines, in my opinion. I asked (via Mac Life’s public relations firm) about the price and separate app for the next issue (which I consider to be a no-no). Here’s the response:

Because we are using this first app for research purposes and to garner user feedback, the next edition will be a separate app download available for $1.99. Pricing of subsequent updates to the app is still being worked on with Apple.