Food & Wine Magazine iPad App Review

Editor In Chief Dana Cowin Explains New Design

Posted by on Oct 8

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Chicago Tribune technology writer Steven Cavendish recently reviewed the pros and cons of using the new "Food & Wine" app for the iPad as opposed to simply reading the magazine. Both pros and cons exist, but Cavendish concluded that "the result is a supercharged (and in some ways superior) version of the print product."

During a conversation with the magazine's editor-in-chief Dana Cowin, one key point became clear:  The new app is not designed to be a literal magazine replication. "I didn't want a PDF version with essentially a couple of extra pictures," she said.

Although, extra pictures are a key feature in the "Food & Wine" app, especially when it comes to recipes. "Every recipe has a photo," Cowin said. Users can even choose to see pictures of recipes plated by a gourmet chef as well as an easier, home-cooked version.

Furthermore, each recipe is featured on just one iPad page, making it extremely useful for kitchen work. Cowin added, "Basically, a lot of what I thought about was how can I make this super-useful for someone who is going to treat this as a piece of cooking equipment." And it works. This feature is also enhanced by larger typography print, making recipes easier to read from a distance.

Another praised photographic feature is the extensive wine list, in which every bottle of wine is paired with its own picture. Cavendish pointed out, "Your iPad can be used to walk the aisles in a wine shop and quickly find what you're looking for."

Cons for the magazine app were mainly related to  download time and app size. "After downloading the shell, I had a few aborted attempts trying to download the issue," Cavendish said. "And it's a very fat app. Loading a few of these onto your iPad is going to create a space crunch for the 16GB model over time."

In the end, Cavendish supported the new product and concluded by saying, "This is a model app that shows what a magazine can become on an iPad."

"Food & Wine" launched its iPad app on Thursday, October 7. Currently, iPad owners are able to download the wine issue for free. Future downloads are surmised to be $3.99 per issue.

Sources: Chicago Tribune

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