Print magazines that have been converted into digital form haven’t exactly been well received by the iPad faithful. There just always seems to be something users have an issue with, whether it’s unintuitive navigation, outrageous pricing, too many ads, large file sizes, or what have you. But the developers of Sideways have taken a different approach in hopes of changing the negative perception that accompanies digital magazine apps. Their app has been designed from the ground up for the iPad and, specifically, for iPad users.
“Sideways leverages the unique capabilities of the iPad and rich media to deliver stories that combine text with high-quality visuals – video and photography – as well as audio,” said Jim Sweeney, editor-in-chief of Sideways and TapTilt. “It’s the first magazine designed specifically for the iPad, with features and columns that entertain readers and enhance their enjoyment of the device. Each monthly issue will experiment with and evolve this new form.”
The inaugural version of Sideways features articles on the World Cup, music festivals and concert tours, training for marathons and triathlons, photo galleries, and much more. It also features regular sections that will recur throughout future editions, like video reviews of the latest music releases and gaming apps, monthly columns regarding travel, tips and tricks for interesting tasks on the iPad, and so on and so forth.
What’s suppose to set this digital-only magazine apart is the seamless inclusion of videos, audio, and still photography within the usual text, as well as an easy to understand interface.
Article categories are all listed on the left-hand side of the screen in portrait mode in a scrollable list, and when tapped on, will reveal the entire article on the right side which can be scrolled through vertically. Portrait mode features the usual pop-over replacing the static scrollable list.
Surprisingly, all content, including text within the articles, requires an internet connection. That coupled with the fact that the app features vertical, website-like navigation, may actually blur the line between digital magazine and a website wrapped in an app.
Sideways is a monthly publication with a new issue being released at the beginning of each month, but new music, game reviews, and free wallpapers will be added weekly.
The inaugural version of Sideways is now available in the App Store for $3.99. It is currently ad-free, which may help some of you justify the cost.
This actually isn’t the first stab the developers have taken at digital-only publishing, however. iPhone users can get a similar app, albeit with a less intuitive UI considering the device’s screen size, called TapTilt. It features iPhone-specific content and is also a monthly, ad-free publication.