Wired brings their magazine to the iPad

At over 5ooMB, Wired's iPad app arrives in the App Store and yes, the future of magazine reading appears to arrive with it!

Last November we gave a sneek-peek at Wired's concept for a magazine on a tablet. That demo was in Adobe's Flash. The new version is 100% Flash free and is beautiful.

Navigating the magazine is a breeze; tap on the screen and you are given overlayed navigation tools. The bottom scrolls through pages and the top has two options- zoom out and a vertical list of articles in the issue.

There is plenty of interactive content too. Videos from the upcoming Toy Story movie and 3D real-time models of Mars and a Lego Lamborghini. With this awesome content and interactivity comes a price; $4.99 an issue. Is it worth it? Let us know in comments! Check screenshots after the break!

[$4.99- iTunes Link][gallery link="file" columns="2"]

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Chad Garrett

Software trainer, blogger and mobile technology enthusiast living in the suburban Midwest.

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Reader comments

Wired brings their magazine to the iPad


It is worth for sure! It looks amazing! Functionality wise it is perfect as well! Recommed to all Wired readers!

The app is beautiful and well thought out, there is no doubt about that. $4.99/issue though? I subscribe to Wired for $1/issue for the print version. I don't expect it to be free, but I feel there should be some sort of discount for current subscribers. Not sure if an extra $60/year is worth it. I really enjoy the ipad version though so I might cave and just cancel my paper subscription.

I think the idea and concept is awesome, but I rather pay a one time fee than 4.99 for each issue. If I was able to flip through it like I can in the magazine shelves I would consider it.

oh this is good... toy story is wonderful movie and kids like. i give them magazine and they rip. i give them phone and they sleep like baby. i pay many usd for this app and will send you all picture of sleeping child. you have child? what to do if they are sick and tired of book and phone? oh no, need new idea.

Out of curiosity I may download the first one, but I won't pay $5 a month for something I can get at $12 a year. Same goes for USAToday and all other media. The web is basically free information, printed media costs, there is no reason app based information should be above or even close to the print costs. If its saving they want they should thinking in terms of .mp3 costs. I'd probably pay $1 or subscribe digitally (one time fee) to replace my printed media.

BTW - anyone think the open source crowd will pay those prices for a magazine once Android has a competing device? I think not.

Not worth it. $4.99 for an e-issue?? As others mentioned, when I get the physical subscription for $1 a month, how are we to be convinced an electronic version is worth more, when costs to prepare it are so much less?! And I'm sorry, 500mb of space, when a full length movie is only 700mb? Not convenient, especially since you likely wouldn't be able to grab the latest issue while on the go, unless you found wifi.
Personally, I was hoping for something more along the lines of the Sports Illustrated mockup demo - that seemed to grab my attention more, and I don't even subscribe to SI.

Soooooo. Your pay for the distribution channel (iPad and internet connection) and they want to charge you 5X more for the product, and it still has ads? Man these guys have balls.

Work in publishing myself. And agree $4.99 is inflated, but to base pricing as an apples to apples comparison with print is unrealistic. Folks want more than a CD Rom-like version of a magazine - more than high-res PDFs with a page turning shell. So print publishers now have increased costs associated with custom content creation (manpower), multi-channel media (video, audio, on screen talent, licensing, etc...), not to mention Apple's 30% take of revenue generated.
Yes, there is no paper, there is no ink, there are no direct mail costs. But from an advertising standpoint, many advertisers are buying both print and digital in one package (with multimedia sometimes purchased as an add-on). That advertising is paying to keep the print subscription costs as low as possible, they are not 'yet' paying the way for the additional costs associated with a very good, cutting-edge digital magazine. The market just isn't there yet, so the consumer is hit with a higher percentage of the cost. The price will decrease as advertisers come to the plate with digital dollars. That happens when digital readership moves from early adopter to mainstream. It's not mainstream yet.
I believe there is $1, maybe $2, fat right now in the Wired price. It's well done. They spent money to deliver the type of magazine consumers are looking for. For those magazines charging $4.99 just delivering high-res PDFs of the print with no custom content, etc - they are way, way out of line in their pricing.
PS - I don't work for Wired or Conde Nast:) And I read TiPb daily. Thanks for the great content.

Aside from the possible advantage to the publisher of selling through the App Store (with that 30% cut to Apple) instead of building/using their own payment system, what does this sort of native app do for the reader that cannot be done with a format like the HTML5 magazine Sports Illustrated showed off last week?
SI demo: http://tcrn.ch/afXRjm

This is truly the future of e-zines and other publications. Wired has hit the mark beautifully. This is awesome.

Most mag's these days can be had for under $10 a year.
Some high-end ones are $20-30 due to smaller audiences and higher-quality paper, etc.
I'd pay $2-$2.50 per month for a good, average rag.
For a high-end mag, I'd pay a little more - because they're not using larger, fancier paper.
Maybe $3-3.50 per.

Sorry, but all I can think of when I see this is "CD-Roms 2.0", a solution looking for a problem. Modern readers on the web don't care about print layout dressed up with embedded video, and the iPad doesn't change that. The browser won, get over it.

Amazing app, amazing experience. This is the start of real apps using the true abilities of the iPad platform. I'm hopeful others will follow suit and deliver more stunning apps.

The magazine is great. However, $5 an issue can add up. Unless the price drops to current subscription prices then this is the last issue I'll buy.

Interfacelab did a pretty thorough takedown of the magazine. In short, it is so huge because it is a series of XML files that decide how to layout 4100 images (397MB). Each page is a single full image -- actually two, one for portrait and one for landscape. According to the article, there is no actual text, just this series of images, which will seriously limit any searching or interactivity besides page turning or starting a clip, whereas an HTML5 version would have been smaller, more cross-platform compatible, and more interactive. An interesting read.