"The first editions of British Journal of Photography on the iPhone will be free as we ask our readers to tell us what they think of the app," says Mick Moore, the magazine's art director and app team leader.
"Last year, the British Journal of Photography was one of the first magazines to release a custom-built iPad app," says editor Simon Bainbridge. "While most magazines you come across are clunky page turners – so-called digital editions that are really just glorified PDFs of the print version – ours is bespoke, built by our own team of designers and developers."
When it came to releasing an edition of BJP for the iPhone, "there was no point trying to replicate what we had done for the iPad", says Bainbridge. "Instead, we've come up with a concept that includes smaller issues that appear more frequently. Of course, there's been no concession to the elegance of the design for which we have won so many admirers, nor have we dumbed down our articles or compromised the quality of the stunning photographs we showcase. In fact, it's taken a lot of painstaking work to make it work on the latest iPhone's Retina display, making sure the images pop out, but also ensuring the typography features in our print edition remain a more enjoyable read than the robotic HTML rendering that hinders the aesthetic of other magazines published for the small screen."
The app's first edition, which will be available from 05 July on iTunes, will feature US photographer Roger Ballen. "It seems appropriate that our first edition features Ballen, a true radical in the world of photography, and who recently made his first music video, working with an uncompromising rap-rave duo from his hometown in Johannesburg. Be prepared to have your ideas about photography seriously challenged, just as we hope we can change your expectations about how a magazine should look on an iPhone."
In just nine months, BJP's iPad app was downloaded more than 170,000 times, and "we expect our iPad paid subscribers to overtake our print subscribers before the end of the year", says Marc Hartog, group publishing director. "The potential audience on smartphones dwarfs the current tablet reach, if you get the experience right. Simply taking our huge iPad magazine experience – which carries a premium price – and attempting to squeeze it on to a 3.5-inch screen simply won't work, so we have again completely re-thought how to tell our story in a format that suits the device and its reader – and working collaboratively with the new mag+ iPhone platform has allowed us to do this."
BJP will be delivering a weekly bite, including an in-depth feature and live news – and the price will reflect that format, at just £0.69 per week or £1.99 for a monthly subscription. "We will be offering bundle deals so our subscribers can receive BJP in whatever format they prefer – monthly in print, quarterly on the iPad, or weekly on the iPhone," adds Hartog. "Only time and feedback will tell, but we believe in offering the right experience for each device at an appropriate price, and this is our next step on that journey."
For more details, visit www.bjpapp.com/iphone.
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