Thursday, September 16, 2010

Online/Electronic Magazines and why I haven't taken the plunge

I own a Kindle.

I own an iPad.

The large majority of the books I purchase and read are on these two devices. 90% Kindle and 10% iPad. But the one thing I don't read on the iPad or Kindle are periodicals. Why you may ask. I've been asking myself the same thing and I've come up with an answer. Cause there are two many choices and two many vendors.

For example, if you read Men'sHealth logic would tell me just to go to Amazon or iBooks and look for it there. I associate Amazon and iBooks as the Borders and Barnes & Noble of electronic books (sorry guys). In the good old days of book store utilization if I couldn't find it at Borders and I go to Barnes & Noble. But back to the example, Men'sHealth, if you are in the app store you will see a Men'sHealth app...why? There is also Zinio who is trying to be the Kindle/iBooks for periodicals. They also have Men's Health but it's the UK version.....that makes sense right? No it doesn't and this is the main problem I have with Zinio. Lots of magazines but they seem to be for the rest of the world. US versions are hit and miss so buyer beware in their store.

Is this Zinio's fault? No, I think the publishers are struggling with a changing business model.

Here is another question. Why can't I convert my tree killing subscription of Men's Health to the electronic version, even if I have to use their stupid app? I've sent emails to the publisher asking this and I haven't heard a word. In fact, I wouldn't mind paying $5 to convert the subscription. No answer from Men's Health.

People constantly complain on the Kindle subscription reviews because they don't feel that they are getting value. This perceived lack of value occurs because they can read and entire magazine in an hour. If you remove all the ad's from the magazines (because ads are graphic and the Kindle doesn't lend itself to full page color ads) they are much thinner. This is like complaining to DishNetwork that the Discovery Channel stinks because your DVR allows you to skip the commercials. Think about how small a Cosmo would be if you took out all the ads.

Magazines are a different reading experience and I think the iPad will shine for this form of media. It comes the closets to replicating the experience and that's what will have to happen for periodicals. Magazine are more graphic intensive. But having said that, Magazine publishers should probably not focus on their own apps and decide to either give into the Apple machine or throw their weight behind someone like Zinio. The magazine publishers are going to shoot themselves in the foot by fragmenting the delivery platform of their content. We've seen this happen time and time again. Content creators do well when they do that...create content.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How realistic is it to update a blog from the iPad

So I log into the google blogging site. I can type in the subject of the article but can't edit the text field of the blog post unless I click the edit HTML tab. So at this point I would say that without an app to do this with i would say this is a minor FAIL. I state that it's minor because I can edit type in the text.

Adding an image is a major FAIL because there is no way to get the picture off of iPad or at least a way that I can figure out.

Typing is O.K. But it slides around on my lap So putting in lots of text without he Bluetooth keyboard at this point is not a lot of fun. I say at this point because lets face it. The iPhone wasn't a treat until I got used to it and now i consider all other smarts phones seem like a royal pain the the rear now.

All of these things are the result of being an early adopter of the technology. I'm not down on the iPad it's just the simple fact of the way things are now. Thank goodness the predictive typing works as well as it does. It truly keeps this from being the train wreck that it could be using this.

That's all for now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

iPad vs Kindle 2

After a week of using the iPad and having owned a Kindle 2 for little more than a year I have come to this conclusion.

E-ink is better for reading than the iPad. The iPad is great and it's cool to have both iBooks and Kindle Reader on the same device. iPad is a better overall device. But when it comes to reading straight text E-ink is less straining on the eyes.

Now who will win the battle of the backpack? They will both be there. The Kindle is so light weight I'm not going to notice it. I don't think Kindle can pull off the kind of universal platform like the iPad for applications and I don't think it should try. I think they both have their places. It's all about the right tool for the job.