Price: $3.99    Score: 9/10    Category: Lifestyle

Oprah has done it again. Her Hearst debut of O, The Oprah Magazine for iPad is strong, interactive, and extremely well polished product.

From the animated live cover to her final talk on miracles, the iPad version of O combines the classic appeal of the print magazine with a smooth interactivity that’s subtle but dynamic.

Readers will be pleased to discover that when O goes digital she doesn’t clutter your screen with extras and ditch content for flashiness. Instead this is the real deal, easy to navigate with swipes or via a menu that appears when you tap anywhere on the screen.

The menu lets you access the table of contents via a pop up menu, scrub through the pages with a page viewer, and jump to your favorites and notes on demand. You can also give feedback in this menu, but feedback is really just a survey instead of your normal email link.

From a reader perspective, the execution of this magazine is great. The only thing you’ll miss is the pleasure of the actual aesthetic appeal of editorial spreads (the magazine only works in portrait mode and therefore only allows you to view one page at a time).

The app begins with Oprah discussing her app on stage and then lets you read the magazine with short video surprises embedded into the experience. You’re never overloaded with too much content, but she keeps things interesting and doesn’t bombard the reader with much more than words in the feature well.

Oprah’s curated list of gifts based on a number of famous people’s Christmas lists is perhaps the most refined aspect of the app. Product descriptions are in depth, you can click through to go straight to the buy page, and you can favorite or write notes about specific products for quick access in the main menu. Best of all, the cookies fade away and reappear as you eat/rub over them, helicopters buzz into the air, and samples of sneakers rotate with the touch of your finger. Online retailers would drool at this kind of work, and O readers get to enjoy it.

Bottom Line: O, The Oprah Magazine is one of the best magazines to hit the iPad to date. The layout is clean, the navigation is simple, and the extra content will thrill O readers.


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