Richard Branson’s iPad Magazine now available in iTunes

In the middle of last week the UK entrepreneur Richard Branson announced for the first time that his media company, like NewsCorp, was working on an iPad magazine. It's now live in iTunes. The app is free, and the first issue is $3.99. Based on the website, Project looks like it will be a magazine something like Wired, with topics covering tech, gadgetry, and SF pop culture. There's a demo video after the break.

You know, I think this magazine might succeed. You might recall that in the past I've had my doubt's about NewsCorp's Daily iPad newspaper. I couldn't see why I'd pay for content I could get the same story elsewhere for free. Looking at the Project website, I'd say that the folks behind Project already thought of that. They're going for unique content, and they succeeded. There were a couple articles that I saved so I could read later, and that makes all the difference.

Update: PaidContent bought the first issue and they posted some first impressions. The install time was over 2 and a half hours (they were forced to upgrade to 4.2). The expereince didn't get much better:

Still, it’s entirely necessary because Project‘s UI is all over the place. Pages look like they have been conceived and rendered in print. Because they use an unpredictable array of creative layouts (Project looks rather good in that regard), navigation items are often indistinguishable from static page furniture, meaning Project‘s UI frequently resorts to inviting you explicitly toward non-obvious interactivity (“Tap” here, “Swipe” here). You don’t know you’ve reached the bottom of a page until you’ve tried and failed to swipe any further. Basically, it’s confusing.

Project graciously nods to the open web by including revealable off-site links and by bizarrely embedding its own blog site inside the app. But, at one point, I found myself stuck in this section with no apparent way to get back to the magazine proper. Because iOS 4.2 saves an app’s state between closing and opening, not even exiting and re-entering the mag could return to the cover - for that, I had to remove the app from iPad’s memory via iOS 4.2’s new multitasking bar (please can I go back to 3.0?).

Project magazine cover video from Project on Vimeo.

About Nate Hoffelder (11473 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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