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Game Informer - Impressive E-Mag!

Waaaaaaaaaaay back in February 2011, I mentioned how Andy McNamara helped me transfer my Game Informer subscription from magazine to digital mag. I've been enjoying it that way ever since, except for a brief period (not sure how long) where I let my subscription lapse because I wasn't reading the mag on my computer like I had hoped I would (so I was issues behind).

GIO member Tenzen left a comment on that blog asking me for my thoughts on the digital version of the mag, and I...well, I dropped the ball. I admit it.

What got me back on the magazine track, though, was when the digital version actually became available on tablets. I own an iPad, and having a magazine on there guarantees that I will read it. When I saw the announcement that Game Informer was now available there, I jumped on it.

Unfortunately, it's taking me until now to actually comment on it (sorry, Tenzen).

I have to say that, even in the time that I've been a subscriber (last October), the magazine has made some huge improvements, and it was already great as an iPad mag!

I think e-magazines are going to be the future of magazines, at least at some point. The books issue is a bit more debatable, but magazines are ultimately disposable items that take up a lot of space if you're saving them (Saint, I believe you know that of which I speak). And if you're not saving them, then they quickly find their way into the recycle bin. I find them difficult to read and I get behind really easily because I can't read them very easily while I'm sitting on the couch eating dinner or whatever.

But on your tablet? You may delete it from your tablet, but it's still there to be downloaded if you ever want to check it again. And I can prop the iPad on my knee while I'm eating. That's why I now subscribe to two magazines on it.

The Game Informer magazine app is simply amazing. Kudos to the design and technical staff. It's easy to swipe from page to page, and it's nice that it always remembers where you are.

What really makes the app cool, though, is the way that it integrates multimedia (so be ready, because it is a *huge* download, with the last issue clocking in at almost 800 MB). Multiple screenshots of a game? No need for multiple pages. Just have a bunch of thumbnails and let the reader tap each one for it to show up. Videos can be embedded for that extra information that you usually have to come to the web site for. (I'm either accidentally tapping them too often or some of them start automatically, which is slightly annoying, but bearable). The Top 10 list? Make each entry a tap and then you just need one page for it. Even this month's Pros and Cons entry had this functionality. No need for two pages. "Pro" is the default, but you just tap "Con" to see the con viewpoint.

It really is that easy.

Sometimes supplementary material on an article can be accessed just by swiping your finger upward instead of to the left/right. That's very cool too.

The only problem I have with the app is that it can be quite difficult to actually get out of the issue and go back to your issue library. If not difficult, it's at least counter-intuitive, as I've often had to stumble upon the solution and I forget what I did by the time the next issue rolls around. Also, occasionally the issue "sticks" and I have trouble swiping the pages.

Overall, though, this is a killer app and it's much better for me than the actual paper mag. 

I can't speak to how it looks on the Android systems (it says that it's available through Google Play), but on the iPad, it looks marvelous.

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