Wired's iPad edition arrives: Flash out, Apple-approved Objective-C in
Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, said the magazine utilizes new digital publishing technology developed by Adobe, which allows the publication to work on the print and digital editions at the same time, using the same authoring and design tools. The result, he said, is a new version of Wired that he has always dreamed of.
"It has all of the visual impact of paper, enhanced by interactive elements like video and animated graphics," he said. "We can offer you a history of Mars landings that lets you explore the red planet yourself. We can take you inside Trent Reznor's recording studio and let you listen to snippets of his work in progress. And we can show you exactly how Pixar rafted each frame of its new movie, Toy Story 3."
Released Wednesday, the iPad edition of Wired (iTunes link) costs $4.99 for the June issue. It includes reviews of the best new LED TVs, a guide to gardening for geeks, and interactive content like a behind-the-scenes tour of a warehouse of frozen medical tissue samples. The 527MB application is intended for users ages 17 ad up.
Wired also released a video (encoded in Adobe Flash, and unplayable on the iPad) showing off some of the features of the new digital magazine:
The Wall Street Journal explained how the magazine and Adobe had to rebuild their application from the ground up after it was revealed that Apple would not allow the use of intermediary tools to port software from another format, such as Flash, to the iPhone OS. As such, Adobe joined the thousands of existing iPhone and iPad developers by recreating the magazine's application in Objective-C.
"Wired, which has been working on an e-reader edition since last summer, has pursued a different path than its Conde Nast brethren by partnering with Adobe Systems," author Russell Adams wrote. "That decision later landed Wired on the wrong side of Apple, which has banned Adobeâs Flash technology from its devices. Wired and Adobe had to rebuild the magazineâs app in Apple-approved code."
Executives with Conde Nast, publisher of Wired, said that the rebuilt, Apple-approved application has all of the features of the previous one. Future issues will add new features such as social connectivity, search functions, and the ability to open a browser within the application.
Conde Nast expects to offer a subscription model in the fall. Currently, it will charge $4.99 per issue, and new issues can be bought as part of a library within a single application.
Conde Nast also released digital versions of its other magazines, including GQ, but they have not received the highly interactive treatment featured in the iPad edition of Wired. Officials with the company previously said they would not create similar iPad apps for their other magazines until the issues between Adobe and Apple are resolved.
Apple recently changed the iPhone developer agreement to ban third-party tools that would allow software to be ported from other formats, like Adobe Flash, to native iPhone OS software. Jobs said such tools would result in substandard applications on the Apple-controlled App Store.
The iPad edition of Wired was first discussed last November, months before Apple's touchscreen device was even acknowledged by the company.