Time Inc. has released information on its new tablet software in some videos demonstrating its use with Sports Illustrated. The program is being developed in tandem with Wonderfactory, and works in Adobe AIR—suggesting cross-platform compatibility. That means readers will probably be able to use this on any tablet computer, like a Thinkpad X Series, an HP Touchsmart desktop computer or even the mythic Apple iTablets people seem to love speculating about.
The features shown are impressive—perhaps even inspirational. TechCrunch writer Erick Schonfield and SI editor Terry McDonell swipe through feature stories, summon tools to send pieces to a Facebook or Twitter feed and slide through photo galleries inside the space that a single photo would typically appear on a physical page spread. This is really confusing. A hard-hitting football clip settles neatly into the cover image for the issue.
McDonell seems convinced readers will pay a sum for the digital format similar to traditional print rates. The features showcased so far are certainly promising. However, I can’t shake the terror instilled by the stiff clip-art hands that hover over the demo video shown below. It’s particularly distressing to watch it hover over the models in the Swimsuit Issue section.