Education in Chemistry (EiC) is a bi-monthly periodical covering news and features relevant to the teaching of chemistry at secondary and tertiary level. It has just launched a new app, and is making the magazines free to view for 2015.
I had a preview of the app in development as I’m a member of the editorial board, but got a proper chance to play with it when I downloaded it from iTunes to iPhone and iPad. This bias noted, I have to say I really love it. EiC was one of the few periodicals I still enjoyed reading in print form, and while I’ll still enjoy its physical presence, the app does a very good job at allowing the reader to navigate as easily as possible, mimicking the “scanning through” approach you take with the physical copy. A lot of features of the New Yorker magazine – which for me is the premier example of online magazine interface – have appeared in this app.
As well as reading it in page turn, the app has a side table of contents which means you can jump straight to an article. My favourite though is ability to scan through the pages visually using the first pages menu option on the right of the menu bar. This gives as close a representation as possible of “flicking through” a magazine. I love it, because you can capture the visual element of each article too. After a sideways swipe, you can, New Yorker style, just begin to read the article with a vertical one. It’s easily read on phone and tablet.
Finally, the pièce de resistance is the scrapbook – you can favourite articles from any of your issues and keep them all stored in one place. Love it!
Will it replace the physical copy? I do have an enjoyable ritual with the physical copy (involves tea) but certainly something so easy to access will mean that I can grab an article on the go.
You can find out more about how to get the app at the EiC website.