Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Bye Bye, Babes! Maxim’s iPad App Bows Out.

Tablet magazine app launches still get plenty of attention, so it seems only fair to note when one disappears: Maxim HD, an iPad-specific version of the baberific print magazine, has called it quits, less than a year after launch.

A message which went up this month on the app’s iTunes page says its last issue was June, and directs users to try an older version of the app, which works on both iPads and iPhones. (Thanks to reader Steve Anderson for flagging.)

[UPDATE: Maintain, broseph! Maxim PR person Nora Garrity says the magazine will be introducing a new Maxim iPad app soon. This one will be brought to you by a different publishing system -- Mag+, instead of Bite Sized Candy -- but will still feature hot chicks, etc. In Garrity's words: "It will be a new app [with] the same qualities as the previous app that our readers have been enjoying.”]

[UPDATE 2: And now it's back.]

It’s not unusual for developers to abandon apps, of course. But this may be the first instance I’ve seen of a publisher bailing on an iPad-specific app. This spring, Condé Nast went the other way and dropped three magazine’s iPhone apps produced in-house in order to concentrate on iPad versions built on Adobe’s tablet publishing platform.

The advantage of an iPad-specific app is that it can be built to take advantage of the machine’s specific assets, the most obvious being its larger screen size. App developers have also used the platform as an opportunity to try super-sizing their pricing, and often charge more for an iPad app than one that works on the iPhone.

In this case, though, Maxim publisher Alpha Media is bucking the trend: It sold HD versions of its magazine for $3.99 a pop, but the remaining app goes for $2.99 a copy.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work