There’s a great post on the blog carpeaqua on writer Justin Williams’s frustrations to do with magazine iPad editions – and suggested improvements. His recommendations include valuing efficiency for the user, allowing backgrounded and multiple downloads, and making it easy to archive older issues to free up drive space.
I’d like to add a couple more, too. First, to Apple and Zinio: Provide better options for users to browse through and discover issues. The advantage of a virtual newsstand over a physical one is to allow multiple methods of organization. For instance, I’d like to be able to browse by language or country. Second, to magazine publishers: there’s no reason subscription prices should be higher in foreign markets. You’re not mailing the apps and there’s no justification for price variations – you’re just driving away potential revenue sources. Third, and this one’s for Bloomberg Businessweek in particular, though I’m sure everyone’s guilty of something: test, test, test. Then test every possible scenario again. I paid for a month-long digital subscription but only downloaded one issue during that time – and now it won’t let me download the other three. That’s the kind of thing that makes readers unhappy with your brand, which is presumably not what you’re going for.
Are you reading magazines on the iPad? What do you think publishers could improve on?