Flipside arrives on tablets this month. We did some focus groups with teenage readers in schools last year where we asked them what they thought about magazines on tablets and showed them a few mockups. Most had very limited experience of digital magazines, and couldn’t at first see the point of them.
“There’s something about just reading a magazine, the glossy pages,” remarked one of the young teenagers – a comment you wouldn’t be surprised to hear from a middle-aged magazine buyer. But they liked even quite simple interactivity such as pull-up text (“Oh wow!”), interactive diagrams or video clips (“Something like a building blowing up!”).
Print remains appealing to that age group, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, but their interest in our iPad mockup shows tablet magazines could have a great future with that generation – even if it means the tablet magazine evolves into something that we can’t yet imagine.
Flipside has long had a simple little gallery app for smartphones but we’re now launching a more substantial, ‘enhanced’ edition for tablets, featuring some of the best features from each issue of the magazine along with extras like interactive graphics and animations. The tablet edition will be free to existing subscribers as part of a combined print and digital subscription package. The ‘digital only’ subscription will be available through Apple’s Newsstand and Google Play.
Our app for iOS is awaiting approval by Apple. The Android version is already on Google Play but we haven’t told anyone it’s there yet. Before we do, we’d like to update it on the next Digital Publishing Suite release due out this coming weekend. We’ll also be using that release to update the E&T magazine app with a version that works on Android 4.4.
We plan to convert the simple Flipside 10s phone app (on the Yudu platform) into a ‘Flipside Lite’ international edition – a digital replica that leaves out the articles that only make much sense in the UK.