Before some smart-arse points it out, there is a minor conflict of interest here. Dennis Publishing, the good people behind Know Your Mobile are also the publishing house behind iGizmo. So, if you think that somehow clouds our judgement, feel free to not read this review, but we assure you our tech-journalist’s integrity remains unflinching.
Right, now that’s out the way lets get on with things. The iGizmo app is one of the first iPad-only publications – there is a website in which you can load up each issue as a PDF, but that’s not really the point.
So far responses to the iPad’s magazine editions has been, at best, luke warm.
The iPad’s screen real estate has also been a bit of an issue. It seemed that 9-inches might not be large enough to reproduce a magazine page effectively. Odd then that most of the new tablet breed have decided to go smaller with their screen sizes.
When you open the app you get a conventional magazine front-page – which is nice – it’s what you want to see with any mag-app. To navigate through the magazine you just swipe as you might expect.
It’s also pretty idiot-proof as well. For instance, we handed the app to an iPad novice and they proceeded to work it out in about 10 seconds.
Once on a feature page you swipe downward to continue reading the feature a la the Wired app. What is striking about iGizmo is just how much rich-media content is embedded into the app. There are videos and interactive panels galore. It’s the first time in a mag-app that this angle has really been embraced. As opposed to just reproducing the magazine in a digital format.
The images and design really pops on the iPad’s beautiful display – making it an incredibly engaging experience. It has to be said that the style of the magazine lends itself to the iPad, probably intentionally. Problematic areas such as long-form articles are naturally avoided because iGizmo is a hardware-focused publication.
The app cleverly re-renders each page to fit both landscape and portrait so whether you’re a long ways or sideways person it’s got you covered.
iGizmo is a very impressive app. It really shows the potential the iPad has as a viable magazine e-reader. It feels like a magazine and it looks incredible. It’s a pity there isn’t a way to share articles from it, but being iPad-only that’s understandable.
We really enjoyed our experience with iGizmo, but we felt aware that it had been specifically designed for the iPad. It’s great if you want to keep up-to-date with the best in new gadget hardware, but if you’re looking for deep and engaging tech articles, you might be left feeling cold.
What’s most impressive thing is the feeling after you’ve read an issue for the first time. You feel part of the future. And the best part is, you feel it again after you’ve read your second issue, and third. This is a great starting point for the mag-app and everyone from Vogue to Harper’s Bizarre should look at it before they jump into the iPad pool.
The really awesome thing is that’s it’s free. The thing dissuading people from really jumping headlong in to the mag-app world is the seemingly ridiculous pricing, but iGizmo – and Dennis Publishing – have proved that you can create a rich, immersive, environment on the iPad and deliver engaging electronic-magazine content without a massive price-tag.
Take note, Conde-Nast.