Sports Illustrated

Wired on the iPadOne of the pictures you see here represents the online future of print journalism in a sleek, easy-to-access open Google web app format. The other comes in a 500-megabyte (that's half a gigabyte, people) download on a tightly locked-down device.

Above is Sports Illustrated editor Terry McDonell at Google I/O, showing us the new HTML5-optimized version of last week's issue. And we expressed our excitement for it at the time. And we're even more excited about it now that we've seen Wired magazine come out with its gianormous 500MB file size for its first iPad issue.

Judging from the screen shots at TiPB (we haven't gotten a chance to actually use the app yet), the Wired app indeed looks like a beautifully designed translation from print to online (an endeavor I know a thing or two about). But the mere act of having to download the app (Will each update be the full 500MB? We hope not.) doesn't sound so futuristic to us. No, Google's SI web app beats the pants off this one.

Don't believe us? Check out McDonell's segment from Google I/O after the break. Just like the Wired app, there's no Flash. (Erm, except for the YouTube video on our site, but that's changing.) And there's noo 500MB download. Just pure web goodness.


Reader comments

The future of print online is in a 500MB download? (We don't think so)


You're missing the point. Regardless of how much storage space there is who wants to download 500MB of data to read one magazine? I understand that it is available offline where as, by default, the SI option isn't but likely could.

I blocked wired from my Twitter feed today because of that stupid tweet they made about the iPad and their app. Any tech rag that says something like that just isn't even worth reading.

Is it me or does someone need to have their software engineering degree revoked? I just can't understand 500MB. If you want to ensure the way the app is viewed then build a small client which isn't much more than a restricted browser and pull down HTML 5 content as its needed. I'm wondering if they just took high res graphics print images stuck some apps and video on top of them and turned them loose. Anybody else have ideas on why you'd need a 500MB download?

500 MB is just insane. Only practical way of getting it on your phone would be to sync with your computer. The thing would take forever to download over 3G, assuming AT&T even lets you.

Well 16Gb * 0.5Gb = 32 Applications roughly the same size.

Probably it's just an exception, but imagine if every magazine released and app as heavy as Wired's. And then you'll want to download games, movies, music and documents.

It's not affordable as a general rule.

It's ~430mb because of all the high-quality videos they have (ads and featured videos).

Also many of the 'interactive' items are just video sequences that you can scrub forward and back.

It's still a lot, but it makes sense, technically. It's not 500mb of fodder Objective-C code.

Not to stick up for anything Apple but wouldn't this be a design flaw of wired for making such a huge app and not Apple? Well just going by what other "I" developers did in the mobile space I couldn't see them shooting themselves in the foot like that. I mean we have a lot to thank those developers for a good chunk of the apps we like to use started on "I" devices. But thank god they saw the light of day and realized the great potential of Android so they could improve said apps and release the shackles of servitude placed upon them by the tyrant Steve Jobs.

This particular time, yes, it's not Apple's fault. The folks at Wired are complete idiots and no one is to blame but the idiots at Wired.

I got news for you, web apps aren't the answer either.

Do you remember when the iPhone first came out, all it had were web apps. No native apps. Why didn't it work? Because people need to be able to use apps when there is no Internet connection. This is especially true of reading apps like books, magazines, and newspapers.

How am I supposed to read the Sports Illustrated web app on an airplane w/ no wifi, or in a hotel when I don't want to pay an extra $10/day for their wifi access, or on vcation in another country and don't want to pay 3G roaming rates?

Web apps are too limited in scope. Native offine apps where you just download updates are the right answer. They just need to work harder on compressing those apps into a smaller package.

Answer me this, Batman: How are you going to download the new content in a native app in your scenario above? Connectivity is connectivity.

Content can be downloaded in advance. Content pulled on-demand from the web can't be downloaded in advance, usually, unless you play around (and pray for) caching to work properly.

527MB to be exact. If each issue is about this size then forget it. They should have just had their videos hosted on a server for the iPad to pull up or something to save room.

Meh. CD-Roms 2.0. We're too used to the convenience of browser based content to need print layout and experimentally interactive media. It's overkill at any price.