I love magazines. I subscribe to around a dozen of them and even started one of my own many years ago. (PalmPilot users may remember it: Tap, which later became Handheld Computing.)
Unfortunately, most of the magazine content I've seen on my iPhone has been mediocre at best. Usually it's poorly formatted, incomplete, out of date, and/or not of particular interest.
So imagine my delight upon discovering TapTilt, a monthly magazine about the iPhone you read on your iPhone. It's smartly designed, stocked with original content, and decidedly interesting reading for the everyday iPhone user.
The May, 2010, debut issue kicks off with three features, one each on baseball apps, gardening apps, and iPhone-created art. They're formatted not only to fit the screen, but also to resemble traditional magazine spreads. Thus you see unique headline fonts, topic-specific artwork and color schemes, screenshots, and overall attention to design detail.
Unlike a typical print rag, however, TapTilt adds multimedia to the mix: links, videos, Facebook/Twitter integration, and even some interactive goodies. The baseball-app feature, for example, includes extras like a baseball calendar and a nationwide map of stadiums.
After the features, TapTilt serves up weekly game and music reviews--both in video format. I'm not sure why the editors insist on doling these out one week at a time; it's a bit frustrating to know that there's a review of the game Drift Sumi available, but I have to wait until the fourth week of May to get it.
At least what's there is good. The video review of All-in-1 Gamebox, for instance, is one of the most polished and entertaining app reviews I've ever seen. The Diner Dash review seemed a bit amateurish by comparison, but I still found it preferable to reading a static all-text review.
TapTilt also serves up a variety of expected-to-be-recurring columns, including iPhoneography (the art of taking photos on your iPhone), Travel, Tips and Tricks, Wallpaper of the Week, and iMazing (stories of "amazing uses and strange apps"). It's all good stuff.
Just one problem: there's not enough of it. I breezed through the entire first issue in about 15 minutes. Much as I liked what was there, I didn't quite feel like I got my $1.99's worth. Granted, a single newsstand issue of iPhone Life costs $7.99, but that magazine delivers considerably more content.
I have two other small gripes. First, to adjust font size, you have to exit the app and venture into your iPhone's settings. Second, each issue of TapTilt arrives as its own app and must be purchased individually. There's no subscription option
that I can see (yet), and no way to access back issues (once there are some) from within the current one. Until I'm able to purchase a few more issues, I'm not sure if that's going to bug me or not.
Publisher Sideways Software describes TapTilt as an "experimental" magazine, and judging from the first issue, I'd say the experiment is a success. Though a bit thin on content, everything else is just about right. Note to publishers: If you're planning digital versions of your magazines, they should look a lot like TapTilt.
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