In the race to come up with a digital magazine for the much-heralded and forthcoming tablet computers, it appears that Time Inc. is the first out of the gate. The site TechCrunch reports on a sneak peek it had of the application that is for Sports Illustrated. (Condé Nast is apparently working on something similar.) The writer Eric Schonfeld says
The concept was designed by David Link at the Wonderfactory, and it’s all done in Adobe AIR. If I still read magazines, I’d much rather consume them in this form than on paper.
Terry McDonnell, the editor of Sports Illustrated who showed me the demo, thinks that readers will be willing to actually pay for a digital version contained within a tablet. That remains to be seen.The demo allows readers to flip through pages with the swipe of a finger and to flip through associated photos within the text while continuing to read.
Josh Quittner, an editor at Time (and my former boss) who spearheaded the task force behind the digital magazine thinks of it as an app. If people are willing to pay for apps on the iPhone, why not deliver magazines as apps also? He’s the one who calls it Time Inc’s "Manhattan Project"*. Hail Mary might be a better name.
*For those readers too young or sheltered to know, the Manhattan Project was the ultra-secret project to develop the atomic bomb.