A few days ago, we told you about the new PROJECT digital magazine created by Virgin solely for the Apple iPad. A new issue will be released each month, costing just £1.79 for an issue with the app itself being free to download (all of the issues you download are stored inside the application).
The content of the magazine is updated regularly giving readers a month of reading material for a one off price. It also encourages contributions from its readers and bloggers, giving lots of people a chance to make themselves heard.
In the digital world, many things can be done that one simply can’t experience on print. You can incorporate animations, special features, videos and other add-ons which add to the experience. Quite frankly, I knew straight away that PROJECT was going to be packed with a host of extra goodies and features as the issue took an awfully long time to download, but as you’ll see, it was worth it…
Over 3G I had downloaded 7% of the magazine in just under a quarter of an hour, so unless you’re not going to come across Wi-fi any time soon, I’d wait until you had a home connection to download on. The download itself seemed a little buggy, it seems as though each time I closed the app from view the downloading would stop, so there isn’t anything going on in the background for now, iOS 4 or no iOS 4 multitasking on the iPad.
At first, I found navigation to be slightly awkward as I was trying to swipe from right to left to switch pages – you have to swipe from side to side, but at the top of the screen so not to interrupt any of the interactive features on some pages – but this is something you get used to pretty quickly, and it becomes second nature once you’ve got the idea.
All of the articles are laid out so that it’s a really nice reading experience. There are no adverts in between paragraphs, no distracting layout errors, and not a lot getting in the way of you and your content. Some articles, however, do offer some extra content. There may be an interactive element involved, such as the ability to play a movie or interact with a sequence of pictures. In most cases, these are handled through “action buttons”, which are red circles on the screen just asking to be pressed.
You’ll also find various “hot spots” scattered throughout posts, which offer more information through a pop up pane, that maybe wouldn’t have fit in too well with the rest of the article. Furthermore, numbered buttons on the screen will guide you through galleries in certain articles.
For example, there’s an advert for Panasonic televisions, which creates a 3D setting which you can pan around with the assistance of the accelerometer in the iPad. With a device like this, it really is possible to do an awful lot more with advertising partners.
Considering that PROJECT is the first major digital magazine to exist solely on the iPad, it’s remarkably polished. There are very few bugs in the publication itself, if not a few issues with the download process, and it hasn’t crashed on me whilst I’ve been reading at all yet.
The interface has been designed with phenomenal detail, the content is second to none with something to please everyone and there’s an interactive Jeff Bridges on the front cover! If that isn’t enough to make you spend £1.79, quite frankly I don’t know what is. Buy it, try it out, let us know what you think in the comments!