David takes on Goliath in iPad publishing biz - Macenstein

David takes on Goliath in iPad publishing biz

TRVL Magazine for iPad
Michel Elings and Jochem Wijnands

These days the big news seems to be that media moguls the likes of Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch have decided to make the move from traditional print publications onto the iPad. While this is all well and good, there are a slew of smaller, unknown digital publishers looking to break on to the iPad as well, some with offerings every bit as slick as as the established billionaires. One such app is TRVL Magazine, a free travel app that sports some truly amazing photographs and a narrow per-issue focus that works amazingly well on the iPad.

TRVL Magazine for iPad

TRVL is the brainchild of Michel Elings and National Geographic Photographer Jochem Wijnands, two Dutch journalists who are hoping to do to digital magazines what iTunes did to music albums – namely, destroy them.

TRVL Magazine for iPad

Unlike traditional magazines where you must download an entire magazine full of ads and topics you may have no interest in (aka, a typical music album), TRVL allows you to download individual articles (aka songs). This not only allows the reader to choose content of personal interest to them, but it also helps save storage space on the iPad, something hard core readers are already having to come to grips with.

TRVL Magazine for iPad

“Publishers are now watching each other,” says Elings. “But what they don’t seem to realize is that the real danger is coming from Indie Publishers like ourselves. Magazine Publishing is being reinvented. Jochem and I met at a BBQ this summer and now we are running a successful (but not yet profitable) iPad Magazine.”

Functionally, the app is very well designed. Although lacking the eye-candy of a nice page flip effect, otherwise all the bells and whistles you’d hope to find are there, including an in-app store (issues are free to download), a media library, slide shows, and even video.

Once you’ve downloaded an article, you access it from your library. Each article starts with a map of the area in focus, and then it’s right into the article in all its photographic glory.

TRVL Magazine for iPad

I must say, Wijnands’ experience with National Geographic really shines through, and the photos in TRVL are what truly steal the show.

TRVL Magazine for iPad

TRVL Magazine for iPad

TRVL Magazine for iPad

TRVL Magazine for iPad
Above: When a photo has the little “multi-photo” icon, it means there is a scrubbable slideshow there.

The app works in both landscape and portrait mode, with landscape mode causing the images to fill the screen. A tap will bring up the caption, and pages are navigated via sliding your finger. To return to your library or to quickly scrub through pages, simply tap on the bottom of the screen to bring up the menu.

TRVL Magazine for iPad

As someone who rarely leaves his house, let alone the country, I admit I really enjoy TRVL. I’m a big subscriber to the agoraphobic mantra “things look better in magazines and on TV than they are in real life”, and I feel TRVL backs me up. Of course, for the more outgoing and worldly of you (ie, NORMAL people) I think you’ll also enjoy TRVL as a way to read up on places you might actually consider going. Any travel enthusiast or fan of exotic photography should give TRVL a download. (Did I mention it’s free?)

3 Responses to “David takes on Goliath in iPad publishing biz”
  1. Jonro says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll give it a try.

  2. Dan says:

    If only I had an iPad to actually check this out. Looks better than NG!

  3. Rowlings says:

    Looks pretty cool, thanks!

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