I’ve been an auto enthusiast a lot longer than I’ve been interested in all things Apple, but the two interests have meshed together nicely. I enjoyed reading auto sites like Autoblog, Evo Online, DriveCult, Automobile Magazine and others, but now I’m beginning to turn to their iPad versions. Why? Mainly it’s because the publisher can do a lot of creative things with their publications through an app. I began with Zinio, and still use it, but it really is just the print version of the magazine scanned in, though there are a lot of features Zinio offers such as being able to see some video and reading just the text. The apps have the potential to have a lot more robust character to their presentation of essentially the same content.
EVO Magazine is a top tier auto enthusiast magazine published in the United Kingdom. I found it because one of its authors, Chris Harris, was a perennial YouTube favorite of mine. Nobody, not Clarkson, not Needel, does a rolling video assessment of a car like Chris Harris. It seemed pretty obvious he’d be a great writer, and he is. He moved to EVO and I followed him over. Unfortunately, I had to settle for reading shortened versions of the articles from their website because the magazine isn’t readily available here in the states and the subscription costs were pretty high (about $7.50 per issue).
Zinio offered EVO, but I’ve been using Zinio and it’s good, but not great. EVO tried an iPad app a while back, but it didn’t really work. Now, they’ve retooled it and I think they have a hit on their hands. Their magazine is now a relative bargain for me at $4.99 per issue, plus it includes video, zooming in on photos and the ability to comment within the app from the comfort of my iPad.
The magazine provides a comprehensive guide on its features right at the beginning:
And everything works pretty much as advertised. I did have issues playing a video in the sample edition, but most of the features work in the two copies I’ve paid for within the app. By the way, I’m not sure what the big deal is about the Daily in terms of in app subscription, because EVO is doing it as are many others. I guess the publisher of EVO figures it’s worth sharing $1.50 per issue sold with Apple in order to get into the hands of readers all over the world.
At the beginning of each issue, like any other magazine, you get a short note from the Editor, but in this case it’s a pretty cool video:
EVO Magazine Editor Nick Trott starts the edition out with a short introduction to the edition. It’s pretty smart actually, I often skip over the Editor’s note, but EVO makes it so easy, why not watch it? It’s a clever way to use the iPad’s capabilities. Also, look on the left, yep, that’s EVO Magazine’s Twitter stream. On the right, they’ll sell you whatever you’re willing to buy.
I think my favorite aspect is how the features are presented. Harry Metcalfe regales the reader with his experience of buying what is probably every 12 year old boy’s fantasy: a Lamborghini Countach. The feature provides a nice mix of text, photos, and video.
What school boy wouldn’t dive right into this article? Even just the back end of a Countach gets you going, even if you’re a die-hard Ferraristi. Straight away you’re excited to read about Harry’s story and you haven’t even turned a page.
Below you can see some of the features the iPad edition takes advantage of. First, you’re looking at a Lamborghini, but with it’s legendary test-driver Valentino Balboni. By pressing the “+” key you get to see a close up of Balboni diagnosing a problem with Harry’s Lamborghini. All without leaving the same page.
As any iPad owner knows, this device is incredible at displaying photography. As any auto enthusiast knows, most automobile publications expend incredible effort on top notch photography. This is a match made in heaven. The app smoothly pans beautiful photography across the screen as you swipe your index finger, and it doesn’t rudely jump, it glides along like a Rolls-Royce floating down a country lane. Below is a stitched together picture of what the sweeping panorama looks like.
What makes the feature even better is video Harry shot while driving along the Route Napoleon.
To make the manipulation of photography even better, EVO’s iPad app overs the reader the opportunity to zoom on photos, press a button and see other shots, or even access 360 degree shots without leaving the page.
Another interesting feature is the in app advertisements. Normally I blow right by them, but EVO has some pretty good adds that are interactive and feature built in video without doing anything.
EVO Magazine also integrates with popular social networking site likes Twitter and Facebook via Discus. It was a little clunky and not totally straightforward, so by the time I figured out how to use it, I had posted a comment meant for one article to a different one.
I had commented on Harry Metcalfe’s article, but the comment somehow ended up on their Winter Tyre feature. I’m certain it was my fault, but the interaction required to post to Twitter and to comment on the article weren’t intuitively obvious.
Overall this app is well done. It makes my iPad even more valuable to me knowing magazines are going to be better than ever within this environment. But what will I stack up in the bathroom now?
Find the EVO Magazine app on iTunes here.