The Bloomberg Businessweek + app, which launched today, starts off by showing me a fever bar that tells me how much of the issue is loaded. Feels like a common courtesy, but so many apps, including native apps like THE DAILY, do NOT tell you where you stand in the loading process. And we all know that the lack of knowledge breeds the assumption that the worst case is true.
So, it takes some time, but I can see the end and will wait for it. And there are basic elements of the new digital landscape, like changing the type size or searching through text or even selecting specific text.
The design seems more native to the IPad. You can read related content at the touch of a button. Navigation is simple and intuitive. You can read the text on any page it brings up. One of the frustrations with the “wheel” that THE DAILY has, is that you can’t really ready any of the content from the wheel, so it’s hard to decide what page to select. Here the navigation is easy, intuitive and content-driven.
Also, section “fronts” had indexes of stories as well as visuals, making them more functional than just “covers”. And, Businessweek has made a deal with the devil, Steve Jobs, and will be selling subscriptions to the IPad version by giving Apple its 30%.
The content fits the medium well, too. It’s magazine content that adds to ongoing stories and looks ahead, but is tightly written. It’s also well indexed. They have a cool section that is part of Bloomberg’s coverage of government called the BGOV Insider that projects interesting ideas around government activity, like changes in the Tax Code. It covers discussion and adds to it.
On the downside, some images didn’t load very quickly, or at all. But I liked how it went back to the page I was on when I shut it down before.
All-in-all, a great start, giving me renewed optimist about media’s ability to learn how to exploit the new platforms.