If you’re a regular reader of the Sports Illustrated (SI) publication for the iPad, you may have noticed something unusual / different in the latest issue. The SI iPad edition is now only viewable in landscape mode, no longer supporting portrait mode as it did in previous issues.

I am amazed at how much negative feedback there is for iPad digital magazines that do not offer a way for existing subscribers to receive the iPad content free, or at least for a substantially discounted amount.

The many 100’s of one star ratings dwarf and seem to negate the few good reviews the magazine may have received for interactive content features, and I wonder if this is leading to reducing production costs already and only supporting one orientation.

Sports Illustrated is not the only one suffering, Wired Magazine, The New Yorker, Fortune, Times, the list goes on with overwhelmingly bad reviews.

While the reading experiences are compelling, the lack of subscription business models are really hurting the potential of this entire medium, and I do hope that Apple, the publishing industry and tool providers can come up with a solution, soon…

Click through to read the rest of Matt’s Tinsley’s article…


Here is another magazine built with the same toolset that was used for Wired. It is interesting to compare the different emerging design approaches.

It needs to be pointed out that the publishing industry is aggressively attempting to position these magazine apps as a fundamentally more valuable experience than the print edition, asking $5.00 for a weekly issue of a digital magazine, which amounts to a $260.00 a year subscription when compared to the $40.00 a year print subscription. Tough especially for subscribers of the print edition, who have no discount scheme and are asked to pay the full app amount.

Overall I am not convinced that there is enough interactive content or breakthough experience here to warrant that big a price difference.