This morning I had a bit of a hands on with the upcoming Sport&Style iPad app for the iPad, and even though it didn't convince me to buy an Apple tablet, it did seem like a rather nice way to read a magazine.
Technically, Sport&Style isn't the first Australian magazine to announce an iPad edition - that honour goes to Monthly magazine. But where Monthly is a rather dry cut and paste of the actual magazine, the Fairfax publication has tried to add extra interactive features to make the experience more enjoyable.
There's video content worked in all throughout the magazine, from the editor's letter (launched by pressing the editor's photo) to the advertising (watch a car ad) to footage from the feature photo shoot. There's also interactive 360 images for both stories and ads that let you rotate an object for the full 360º view. All the video isn't pre loaded though - you'll need to acknowledge you want to download it over Wi-Fi or 3G when you press to start it.
Using pinch to zoom, you can zoom in on small print or pictures, but by zooming out past the individual page, the app will move into index mode, where you can cycle through all the pages quickly. There's also a scrubber bar that offers the same type of function. turning pages is as simple as swiping the iPad's screen.
Large features have the option to read text only, while other features offer interactive titles for a cinematic affect. You can also quickly share content via email, and there's currently no restriction in how much you can share.
For $3.49 an issue, it's actually a pretty nice experience that will be refined as the app launches and people start owning iPads. Fairfax will probably use this app as a platform for their other magazines as well, which is a pretty good thing...