July 01, 2010, 7:38 AM — Last month Wired launched it's iPad app for $4.99 and weighing in at a hefty half a gig. But now summer is here and we all need to slim down in order to look good on the beach. Well, except for that over-heating problem and the issue of not being able to read an iPad screen in direct sunlight. But never mind that, the July issue of Wired for iPad is out!
The good news is that the new issue hasn't been deployed as a separate app. Instead, the existing app has been updated and the home screen now has a sample issue so you can see what you're getting into, as well as a page for each monthly issue. You swipe to go from Sample to June to July (and eventually, beyond). The other good news is that the July issue is only 337 MB. Still hefty but a lot better than the 505 MB's of June's issue. Also slimmed down is the price. June was $4.99 and July is $3.99. There's still no subscription option or, as far as I can see, discounts on multiple issues.
Be warned that updating the app appeared to erase my June issue. I could download it again so it wasn't a huge issue but that's a lot of data to download via the sometimes-sluggish App Store. The July issue offers a Purchase button, and once you buy it that button changes to Download. So it appears you can download, delete, and re-download issues as often as you like. A downloaded issue has a View button which finally takes you into the issue itself.
As to the iPad-specific content, it's incrementally better. I didn't notice any video in ads, which is nice (sorry advertisers but I don't want to use up storage space on my device so you can show me your car driving across a salt flat). There are a few shorts videos: a trailer for Tron (full screen), some weird promotional Wired piece (full screen), and a clip showing Michael Cera interviewing Edgar Wright which sensibly played within the confines of the page it appeared on (in a feature titled, appropriately enough, Head to Head: Michael Cera vs. Edgar Wright). One of the best uses of the platform is an a piece called Cockpits which offers 360 degree views (including some vertical movement) of the inside of various vehicle cockpits, from a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird to the monster truck Grave Digger.
It's safe to say if you were happy with the June issue at $5, you'll be happy with the July issue at $4. The size reduction and small improvements are welcome. I'm still hoping for a proper subscription offer that'll bring cost per issue down closer to that of the subscription cost of print product.