Far from being deliciously enticing, the Cooking, Food & Drink category in the Apple Newsstand seems a bit lacking, according to D. B. Hebbard’s review in TalkingNewMedia.
The main complaint? Not enough native tablet publications and too heavy a reliance on print replicas.
“Unlike the Photography category, which has seen a large number of truly excellent, native tablet magazines developed and launched, the food category remains disappointing, with replica editions still dominating,” says Hebbard.
He does give good marks to some, like Conde Nast, that are creating digital editions with some level of interactivity. Still, the bad outweighs the good.
“…the category also features some of the most disappointing apps in the App Store such as Bonnier’s horrible app for Saveur, which is not only a dull replica edition, but buggy, as well,” complains Hebbard.
“Readers hate it, not only for the fact that print subscribers must pay again for access, but that once they do they get such a dissatisfying digital product.”
A huge problem with most cooking and food magazines is the lack of user-friendly layouts. Readers want to take their tablet into the kitchen and use the recipes while cooking, something that the replica editions don’t handle well. While some titles have figured this out, the category in general has a long way to go.
Hebbard’s written before about the dismal state of repair of the Apple Newsstand. There certainly seems to be a disconnect between the titles that Apple is promoting and the level of quality and innovation they display.
Meanwhile, I think I’ll whip up that chicken marsala recipe I tore out of my print magazine the other day. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to read that one just fine.