Saturday, August 20, 2011

Reading on the iPad Part 1 of 8: Overview

I have a problem with newspaper/magazine subscriptions: I try to read too much from too many of them. As part of my process of pruning my subscriptions and managing my reading, I decided to throw technology at the problem. I bought an iPad II.
My goal for using the iPad is to be more organized, carry one object about the same weight as one of the several magazines I often carry around, and to streamline my reading process. I've been partially successful so far. Along the way, I've experimented with several different publications and reading methods and I'd like to share my experience.
Describing my iPad experiences together with their context, and the background that created that experience for me requires going into significant detail. Too much for a single blog posting, so I'm cutting this survey into chunks:

Summary Conclusions

Reading on the iPad is definitely a work in progress. Different publishers are at different stages of exploration, deployment and refinement of their iPad and other online offerings.I was disappointed by the Association for Computing Machinery, but also by Forbes. I was pleasantly surprised by Wired, and amazed by The Economist. I expected Wired to suffer from being too clever, as trend setters sometimes are, but I found its offering a perfect balance of fancy and prosaic. On the other hand, I felt the iPad app for The Wall Street Journal was way too clever for its own good, and created an actively unpleasant experience.Before presenting my detailed experiences, I want to take a moment and discuss the tradeoff between using a specific app versus using a generic browser.
On to Background!

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