Developing the Black Enterprise iPad App - Page 3 of 4
Entrepreneurship Technology

Developing the Black Enterprise iPad App

When you look at a lot of these magazine apps, they have this content panel where you can slide through pages, but I was unsatisfied with that approach because all I could get to were the pages. I wanted to get to the videos, I wanted to get to the photos, I wanted to get to my bookmarks. I wanted to get to the ads separately.

So my vision was ‘How do you create a deconstructed view of all the content?’ and that’s how you get to our two browsers. There’s the one browser where you can thumb through the different levels of content, but then there’s the browser where you really see a deconstructed magazine–from the pages down to the ads and your bookmarks. You can get to exactly what you want to get to with one tap.

The Reader Accounts are an amazing concept, possibly providing subscription-like info when Apple has yet to allow for a subscription model that satisfies all publishers. What was the genesis of this idea?
This is an interesting story. My wife, when she reads magazines, leaves them on the kitchen counter at the end of the night. I get up around 4:00 a.m. because I can’t sleep and I get a bowl of cereal every night. So I’m stuck with either reading the back of the cereal boxes or reading the magazines she left on the counter. So I read the magazines. And what I realized was that she’s got a bunch of pages bookmarked; she’s got a bunch of notes on pages. And if I find something in the magazine that I’m interested in, I’m almost afraid to bookmark that page because it messes with what she’s already done to the magazine.

Magazines, when they come into the household, are generally shared by the people in the household. Back in the days when you had Ebony and Jet on every black coffee table in America, the whole family read the magazine. So that’s what we tried to facilitate–a sharing of the magazine and a sharing of the iPad.  Apple’s got this whole idea that they really want [the iPad] to be a family device. So how do you do that? There are no accounts on the iPad.  If you have an Apple computer, you can log in and create an account, but you can’t create an account on the iPad itself.

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