I’m impatiently waiting to see what Apple is going to announce tomorrow. The rumor mill has been speculating for months (actually, years) about a tablet, and the anticipation is killing me. I posted a short video last month of what a digital version of a magazine might look like on said device, and I think it has the potential to really change publishing.
The NYT is starting up a digital reader division, and according to the LA Times, the grey lady has a team in Cupertino working on a large screen version of the paper. Several other publishing companies have also gotten a heads-up, and though they may have a head start over smaller companies, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
Being small makes one nimble, and I’m guessing that the first issues of tablet-based digital media won’t hit the market for at least a few months. That should be plenty of time for indie concerns to get their digital on.
The tablet also presents an opportunity for many web-based outlets to transition to other forms of digital media. Talking Points Memo, which is already less of a blog and more of an electronic daily, is one concern that could benefit from this. TPM has the essential pieces in place – video, photos and text plus a strongly branded identity – all they would need to do is assemble it into a daily/weekly digital package.
Many other websites and blogs could start up a digi-zine without much of a hassle. Depending on how Apple plans on pricing tablet-based digital media, it could greatly improve the bottom line for many an independent publisher.
I’m guessing that the tablet OS will use SproutCore, which is an open source Java Script framework, in tandem with native HTML 5 video for digital files. Apple has already used SproutCore in their MobileMe web applications, and since Flash on a Mac has been so buggy and insecure, it makes sense that they would adopt another platform for their newest device. One that “just works”.
I’ve got a strong interest in journalism and publishing. Working on newspapers is what first got me interested in the design field. As a freelance designer, my strength has always been more in interface and user-experience design than coding. I’ve done some programming in Flash and Director, but unfortunately, I’m more of a right-brained person. That said, I really, really want to design digital media for the tablet.
Any publishers want to take me on?