The New Yorker is making its way onto 3.5-inch screens Thursday with the launch of an iPhone app.
The app [iTunes link] is well-designed and plenty readable, so long as you don't mind flipping through 50 or 100-odd pages to get through an article. The New Yorker has an advantage in that it's not a photo-heavy magazine. Readers can still access bonus content found in the iPad and Kindle Fire versions, including audio interviews, slideshows, embedded primary source documents and video interviews, and enter the cartoon caption contest from the iPhone app.
The New Yorker is making its current issue free on the iPhone. Current subscribers will be able to enter their credentials to receive subsequent issues at no additional cost. Non-subscribers can purchase individual issues for $5.99 each or $59.99 per year.
Why launch an iPhone edition now? The iPhone, after all, is several years older than the iPad, and has more users. Pam McCarthy, deputy editor of The New Yorker, says that the iPad seemed a more logical place to begin, given the greater similarity in size to the printed product.
"But in the two years since we launched on the iPad, we saw more and more people reading on their phones -- not just using them on the bus or on the movie line for games but for real reading -- it was clear that this was another place we should be," McCarthy explains. "It's a wonderful paradox: something so small turns out to be a great way to read things of considerable length."
McCarthy says that the biggest challenge was formatting The New Yorker's extensive "Goings on About Town" section. Wyatt Mitchell, The New Yorker's creative director, developed an accordian format for more efficient and organized browsing.
Notably, the app was exported in "paginated HTML" rather than as a collection of image files, which cut down on the file size of the app significantly. It also allowed The New Yorker to showcase longer pieces in page form, rather than endless scrolling. Soon, McCarthy says, the magazine hopes to offer readers the ability to resize type.
This story originally published on Mashable here.