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Your feedback wanted – Australian Aviation to develop an iPad app

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 21, 2011

Phantom Media is in the early stages of developing an Australian Aviation iPad app, which is planned to be available in the new year.

Having ourselves been keen iPad users for some time now we think we have a good handle on the popular tablet computer’s potentials and capabilities, and how we would like the Australian Aviation app to look and function, but we’d value your feedback too.

– Do you own an iPad (or are your considering purchasing one)? Do you read magazine apps on it already?

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– Would you buy the Australian Aviation iPad app?

– What features and functionality would you like to see in an app?

– Would you like it to faithfully replicate the magazine, or represent the magazine’s content in a whole new way?

– What magazine apps (whether aviation or others) do you love, or not like?

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– Would special issues of the magazine exclusive to the iPad appeal?

Please leave your thoughts to those questions, and all things magazine iPad apps below, we’re very keen to hear your perspective.

Gerard Frawley

Managing Editor & Publisher

Australian Aviation

30 Comments

  • James

    says:

    I don’t own an ipad but an iphone, and would buy an AA app if there was one, provided it wasn’t too expensive. I would like to see push notifications, and the ability to select which airlines or categories (military, commercial, ga etc) you get sent push notifications. I think it would be good to have both the online articles AND the magazine in an app. It would need to be a ‘clean’ app, with a main menu and then submenus off that, and not making the buttons too small, as they can be hard to touch. A reader like the apple newstand would be good to bookmark parts of the magazines, and subscribers can download each issues and save them on their ipads/phones. I really think this would need an iphone version too, as many people have iphones but not ipads.
    My main issue is the price, I doubt I’d pay anything more than $3 for the app, as I can always just go on safari and read the articles, so I’d be careful about making it too expensive.

    Cheers,

    James

  • Chris Davies

    says:

    I have an iPad and have experienced a number of different approaches to magazines in the format. The best I have experienced in terms of ‘content in a new way’ is “Australian PC and Tech Authority” who have a dedicated app that embeds into the magazine picture galleries and video. There are a number of other magazines that have dedicated apps with the content laid out exactly the same as the magazine. These work well, but you end up with lots of apps for each magazine.

    Recently I started grabbing magazines via Zinio, “Atomic: Maximum Power Computing” has gone down this path. You set up a Zinio account and can buy individual magazines or subscriptions through them. There are a number of ways to read the magazines, from a reader program for PC to apps for iPad, iPhone and Android. This is a number system as it aggregates your electronic subscriptions and replicates the physical reading experience all with one app on many platforms.

    Ideally, I would like to keep my print subscription for when I can’t use my iPad (such as for 20 minutes either end of an airline flight!) and have access to an iPad version at a discounted price. Not sure if Zinio or the iTunes marketplace can accomodate that though!

  • RobertFrance

    says:

    I have both. and android.
    Happy to pay a small fee for non magazine features. or have it free to subscribers.
    Pulling resources in inequality place would be good. briefings. Weather. weather radar. ersa. non ersa strips. regs updates. events. fuel?

  • RobertFrance

    says:

    Ps content needs to be available offline….
    E.g. download preferences. and update notification to download now.

  • Mark Ferraretto

    says:

    I have an iPad and an Android phone.

    I like the idea of an iPad app. My view would be that I would probably replace my print subscription with an iPad subscription. I’d be happy to see the same content in the magazine but presented on the iPad. I guess there would be opportunities to present different content (video etc) but what’s in the mag now would be a base.

    I would expect to pay less for an online subscription than for the print subscription. I guess it would do well to offer a combined subscription as well.

    Regarding the implementation of the app, I’ve seen some good, bad and indifferent iPad implementations. The best one so far is The Guardian’s app which runs in Newsstand on iOS 5. Issues are downloaded in the background (a big big plus) and are ready for me to read offline on the bus. The presentation of the content in the app itself is also very very good. One example not to follow would be The Australian’s iPad app. It takes ages to load and, once the app itself has loaded, takes ages more to download the content! Then, irritatingly, it inserts full-page ads in what is meant to already be a paid subscription. I understand the need for ads but I’d rather they were way less intrusive than what they are.

    The biggest plus would be to have the iPad app download content offline automatically. On iOS I think the only way you can do that is to write your app for Newsstand.

    Incidentally both The Guardian and The Australian have free trial periods currently on their apps if you wish to check them out.

    Mark

  • Maverick

    says:

    ifasion is a POS, do it for the android instead

  • Duncan Evans

    says:

    I have an iPad2. In the newspaper area I use the Sydney Morning Herald app daily to read the SMH. I have not yet started to read any magazines online – yet. What annoys me that the electronic subscription is the same as the paper version, and yet the publisher no longer has any printing or postage costs, and yet I have to wear the cost of the download. Not all areas of Australia have access to cheap or high speed internet. If the AA app was cheaper than the print subscription I would convert tomorrow. I still want to read the magazine in the app the same as the paper version (complete with adverts). But you have the ability to embed short videos as well as addtional photographs. The only aviation app I have is NAIPS.

  • Muzza

    says:

    I have enjoyed Australian Aviation for many years in print form. Since buying an iPad I have been steadily been looking for opportunities to convert my regular reads into digital form. I was delighted to discover Australian Aviation in digital form earlier this year and happily subscribed, despite it being by far the most expensive digital subscription I had participated in. I have been hugely disappointed as AA on-line has been completely useless both on I-pad, and on my Mac book. Worse my requests for help have not been responded too.
    So I will watch with interest developments, especially for those of us who have been so poorly served for our current subscriptions.

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      Hi @muzza, could you send me an email marked to my attention c/- [email protected] outlining the issues you have had with Australian Aviation Online? We are happy to provide a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the product. I’m sorry you’ve found it a frustrating experience. Online isn’t compatible with iPads or other tablets (and indeed we don’t want it to be as it doesn’t suit the tablet format, unlike a custom built app will), and perhaps we need to better advertise that fact. However, I’m sorry it’s not working on our Mac as well, have you enabled cookies?
      Kind regards,
      Gerard Frawley

  • Richard

    says:

    You mean more up-to-date news like this from today’s issue 21st November 2011?
    That Air Force One is arriving next Wednesday in Canberra. Don’t you know the President of the United States has been and gone?
    And when will downloads of pictures be possible as on other aviation sites on the internet?
    Previous requests for this download function have been ignored by Phantom.

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      @Richard, are you referring to the Express e-newsletter? Express is an aggregation of the previous week’s news stories on the australianaviation.com.au website, so by it’s nature it links back to stories that can be a few days old. But each story on the website quite clearly has its own date and time stamp so you can see when it was originally published.
      The right click function is disabled on our website as we don’t own the copyright to many of the photographs we publish, instead we only have the rights to use them. We do appreciate that is a frustration for some website users, and I apologise for that, but it is important to me that we protect the copyright of our photographic contributors.

  • Andy Bell

    says:

    An iPad app is essential. I would certainly subscribe. Should be available offline. Should replicate the magazine. Cheers.

  • Jayden

    says:

    I have been waiting for this for a long time!
    Please do it.
    I own an iPhone and think it would be better to have it iPhone compatible as well as the iPad because I read this website everyday on my phone on the road.

  • MJ

    says:

    Why develop an app that can only be used on one platform? Work on Android and WIndows apps first and single platform apps later.

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      @MJ We’ll do an iPad app to start with as 90+% off all tablet computers sold in Australia are iPads. Android devices don’t yet have the market penetration to justify the expense of developing an app just yet. But we’ll certainly keep a close eye on Android.

  • Chris

    says:

    Free to subscribers and I’ll happily use it!

  • Adam

    says:

    A fully featured mobile website that the wider community can access rather than just one device would be my preference (granted I dont have an iPhone or iPad). Build a mobile site once, viewable everywhere. Can have free sections/paid content and can also be themed to look just like a native app.

    Either way, content such as videos, picture slideshows, articles would be great to have on the go. Probably good if you had more articles, some days seem a bit lean on the RSS compared to other sites (might be just that experience).

    P.s. whats with the attempt at blocking right clicks? Its quickly overcome and a bit of pain if I wanted to copy the name of a plane to Google image search, for example.

  • Lance

    says:

    I’ve been buying more and more magazines as practical on my iPad as it’s the way of the future and minimises the stacks of paper that’s growing in my garage. I like to archive my magazines for future reference, like ‘Air Test’ articles etc and i’m sure others do too and a way to download the magazine in a pdf style format for subscribers for be great as it is more bang for buck than something sitting in cyberspace.

    The flight global app for iPhone is a good example of multimedia for aviation articles like photo’s, video’s and blogs. The Magazine app should have embedded hyperlinks so that it can take you to advertisers websites and links for more information on an particular program, like tracing F-35 development woes over the last decade etc.

  • australianaviation.com.au

    says:

    Thanks for all the comments to date, they’re very much appreciated.
    Re the price of an app, I hear what people say loudly and clearly. But finding an appropriate price is a tough issue. Here at Phantom Media both what we pay in wages on writer payments, and what we pay in rent, is more than we pay for our print bill. So printing is absolutely a significant cost in producing a magazine, but both labour and rent are bigger costs, plus with an app Apple will take its 30% commission. But our app will be priced reasonably and fairly.
    Kind regards,
    Gerard Frawley

  • Daryl

    says:

    Muzza is spot on. I too went for AA’s online edition and found it hopeless, with nil support available. My subscrition was effectively wasted.
    Bring on the iPad version soon please.

  • Ross

    says:

    – Do you own an iPad (or are your considering purchasing one)? Do you read magazine apps on it already?
    Yes and yes. US Flying for one.
    – Would you buy the Australian Aviation iPad app?
    Depends on how much. Ongoing subscription or one off?
    – What features and functionality would you like to see in an app?
    If you start with Wired mag but aviation focused then that is what I expect
    – Would you like it to faithfully replicate the magazine, or represent the magazine’s content in a whole new way?
    a whole new way
    – What magazine apps (whether aviation or others) do you love, or not like?
    Wired
    – Would special issues of the magazine exclusive to the iPad appeal?
    Sure

  • Steve

    says:

    Yes, please develop ASAP.

    I found this survey whilst doing a search for the digital version of your magazine for my iPad.

    I live overseas, so cannot receive the print version, but would love to read this magazine again.

    I also travel a lot, so all my reading material is on my iPad.

    I would buy it straight away if you had the app.

  • Luke

    says:

    Australian Aviation must get an ipad app it will be the best

  • Kevin

    says:

    I just bought the digital subscription but did not see the fine print on the pages where I went to subscribe regarding non-compatibility with iPad. I hardly ever browse the web or read on my computer but use the iPad almost exclusively for reading magazines and books. I feel I have just wasted $75 on the digital subscription until an iPad compatible version is available. When the iPad version is made available can it be in the form of all other digital magazine subscriptions please, ie downloadable and viewable OFFLINE. If not I will not be subscribing to AA again.
    Disappointed.

  • Dave

    says:

    Ditto earlier comments re disappointment with iPad. I signed up just morning for AA Online but would not have done so had it been made clear that AA Online does not work in iPad. Perhaps unintentional, but this is little short of deceptive. People have reasonable expections that e-mags will work on iPads unless advised otherwise. I am extremely disappointed

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