Top Gear magazine released an iPad version of popular monthly print issue this week, which launches to coincide with the ‘Cars of 2012’ issue.
From the brief demo shown at the launch event, the app looks to be a good one. The ‘pages’ of each issue look similar to the print addition, but certain aspects of each come alive in various ways.
For example, this month’s cover features images of the Cars of 2012 under spotlights. By tapping each, you get playback of the engines firing up and revving, a la Clarkson. Nice for the Ferraris and Maseratis of the world, but you wonder what will happen when they feature a family saloon on the cover.
Or actually, you don’t. The guy presenting (who didn’t introduce himself, sadly) told the audience each cover would be interactive in one way or another, with the production team “finding ways” to bring them alive.
Deeper inside the iPad addition there’s more treats, such as videos from presenters Clarkson, Hammond and May as part of their monthly columns, images in slideshow format and an interactive feature that allows the reader to open the boot, bonnet and doors of a featured auto. Quite nice when you’re looking at one of the more extravagant supercars with gull-wing doors (or Back to the Future Delorean doors for non-car enthusiasts).
In fact, the iPad addition easily overcomes a few inherent issues with print. The buyers guide that lists the specs and prices of all makes and models on sale in the UK is much, much easier to flip through on the iPad’s endless scroll-column compared to print. And there’s almost limitless space for hi-res images of each car, excellent news for a magazine that’s all about showing off big shiny things.
The launch event also featured everyone’s favourite white-overall-clad mute, The Stig. Stiggies’ actually become quite a good PR and marketing tool in his own right. He was a bit of a pull for the event, and while he was on stage for a bit he soon ‘got bored’ and wondered off – and thus left the audience to focus on the app demo.
The app is in iTunes now, £2.99.
Also, here’s me with The Stig.