Back in September 2008 the suspension of the Smartphone & PocketPC Magazine was announced as well as the start of the iPhone Life Magazine. With the second issue of iPhone Life on the market, I would like to have detailed look at this magazine and “compare” it to the Smarphone & PocketPC Magazine: A kind of “magazine-clash” between the Apple iPhone OS and the Windows Mobile platform. Furthermore a look at the online resources and a final wrap-up will complete te article.
“Last week sad news arrived from Hal Golstein, the publisher of Smartphone & PocketPC magazine. After 11 years of hard work, devotion and commitment to the Windows Mobile platform, the magazine will be suspended until further notice. Hal Goldstein provides some details around the difficult decision in a blog-post on the magazine’s website.” [ref01]
Almost 3/4 of a year later lets have a look at the original announcement above. Smartphone & PocketPC Magazine is still suspended until further notice. iPhone Life has published it’s -second- (spring) issue of this great iPhone related Magazine.
Structure, look and feel
The picture above with both the frontcovers head to head already shows the hand of one publisher, providing a great apatizer for the contest of the magazine(s). The table of contents shows a same layout style, and even some of the main sections in both the magazines are the same. I can only support this approach: “never change a winning concept”, of providing high quality and divers content to the end-user. In the Smartphone & PocketPC Magazine leading experts of the Windows Mobile Community (from both the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional- and Mobius Group) were contributing writers. For iPhone Life also experts and well respected technology enthusiast contribute with great content to this magazine.
Despite my expertise is more in the Windows Mobile field, I still follow the main iPhone & iPod (market) developments. With this as startingpoint I will share my thoughts, fun, value and learning experience after reading the iPhone Life magazine. At first it was great fun to see some familiar faces in the iPhone Life magazine: Joel Evans from Geek.com and Cronkgames.com, as well as Gonny van der Zwaag and Jean Paul Horn from iPhoneclub.nl.
Second the structure of iPhone Life shows some great sections: Tips, Software, Web, Work complemented with general information and tutorials. Despite the fast developements in the Mobile Market these sections provide a great long-term value to the subscribers, since it provides great enhancements to your iPhone or it provides a good tutorial to set-up certain applications or services. The tips-section consitst of 15 pages with how-to-improvements, complemented with 13 pages of software, 11 pages of work releated applications and services, all written by a diversity of contributing editors -for example an anesthesiologist, a rabbi, a ceo and even university professors. For example I wasn’t aware that you could check medical resources from an iPhone.
Paper magazine, online content or both ?
Some people might comment that paper magazines become antiquated to fast in comparision to the online content. Thaddeus Computing has a rocksolid reputation with both the paper magazine (11 years with Smartphone & PocketPC Magazine) and online content like the great expert columns or the really famous best software and best website awards.
Despite the fact that iPhone Life is still in a start-up / growth phase the hybrid-model of using both paper- and online resources is in place. It actually combines the best of both worlds, and perhaps in the future there is also room for the iPhone Life best software- and iPhone Life best website awards (analogue to the Windows Mobile platform).
This reasoning also takes off the edge of the comment above that paper magazine become antiquated to fast. Simply because Thaddeus Computing and iPhone Life combine the best of both worlds and provide great value for the readers both in the paper magazine and online !! Remark also the fact that Thaddeus Computing offers a Digital Subscription to iPhone Life through 2010 for $19,95 !
Wrap-up and final thoughts
The main goal of this article is NOT to really “compare” both the iPhone Life and Smartphone & PocketPC magazines in hard facts, but to provide you readers with a little background information and detailed benchmark of the quality of iPhone Life and the bi-directional reinforcement resulting in a great Magazine to subscribe to.
I really like the valuable article-sections in the iPhone Life magazine, providing high quality- and diverse content from a wide variety of contributing editors. The how-to-improvements, and grat tutorials are the facts which make it worthwhile to have the iPhone Life Magazine. Finally the complementary online resources combine the best of both worlds.
Honestly I really learned a lot about, -for me “new”-, usability features on the Apple iPhone platform. It was an interesting, but challenging an valuable experience. If you have an iPhone, or plan to purchase one and you want some help getting the best out of your device, you definitely need to subscribe to iPhone Life over here for only $25,- !