Marco Arment launched a new app this week — The Magazine:
The Magazine is for people who love technology, especially the internet, mobile, truly great personal computers, and related fields influenced by technology such as photography, publishing, music, and even coffee. Rather than telling readers everything that happens in technology, we deliver meaningful editorial and big-picture articles.
Marco is well known for his super successful Instapaper app and his new venture has, I think, a great potential too. The Magazine — For geeks like us to use its full name is a iOS magazine that every couple of weeks brings four long-form articles from the best tech bloggers and writers out there. And as Marco says in his foreword ‘rather than be limited to technology, its topics appeal to people who love technology’. I like that a lot.
The app UI design is deliberately simple and straightforward. The colour combinations Marco chose work really well and The Magazine also has a night mode. Everything is optimised for the best possible reading experience and that’s what I want from an app like this. One other thing to note — there are no settings in the app at all. It is not possible to change the font either. And I believe that’s a good thing. The Magazine is not Instapaper and it has to build and maintain its own and distinct visual identity.
The Magazine is aimed at people who value and appreciate high quality content and are prepared to pay for it. While the app itself is free, to get access to the content you need to pay $1.99 per month. Some may feel that $1.99 for eight articles a month is way too much (after all, there is a ton of free content on the internet, right?), I think that this it is a pretty good deal. Just look at the list of people who already accepted Marco’s invitation to contribute to The Magazine: Shawn Blanc, Guy English, Jason Snell, Michael Lopp and several others. Long-form articles from writers of this calibre every couple of weeks for less than two bucks? Bring it on!
In the last episode of his podcast Marco mentioned that he is not sure if his new app will succeed. I don’t think he needs to worry too much. High quality writing from the best authors in the industry is, in my book, quite an easy sell. And with the right combination of carefully curated top-notch content and a clear focus, The Magazine will strive and will attract more and more readers with every new issue. And that’s really exciting, because its success can help set new quality standards in on-line magazine publishing. And we, as readers, will hugely benefit from it.
Because of all the above I subscribed to The Magazine without a slightest hesitation. And you should too.