Long download times of digital magazines for iPad

Today a very funny post turned up on NYT about the time it takes to download digital magazines on your iPad. Nick Bilton shows that downloading the latest version of WIRED for his iPad actually takes longer than going out and buy the paper version in a local store. The WIRED version was 250 MB and he calculated that with an average Internet connection it takes over 40 minutes to get access… Obviously this is not the way digital magazines are meant to be: not optimized at all.

To quote his article:

“Digital magazines are currently too big and bulky and almost defeat one of their main intended purposes, the promise of instant access to content and information”

So instead of delivering what the person wants, the full magazines need to be downloaded (sometimes even with videos embedded) before the “user experience” can start. In that respect full magazine apps don’t seem to be a good format at all! Instead “traditional” navigation (browser, download what you are looking at) might be a better alternative for how the experience should be given.

Let’s see in a year from now how the Digital magazines have evolved. Is the bulky download of >100 MB still their approach. I don’t hope so, and I hope “the world” has learned from progressive downloads and all other optimization techniques applied on the www.

Let me know your view.

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