Amazon Shopping, Vanity Fair Apps Hit The iPad


While Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) had its Kindle app all set for the release of the iPad last month, it’s finally got its Amazon shopping app on the the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) device. Unlike a lot of apps that have made the transition from iPhone to iPad, once you get past the shopping cart icon, this Amazon update looks a little different. For one thing, if you check out DVD releases for Avatar or MTV’s animated series Daria, the free Amazon iPad provides a video clip, something the iPhone app doesn’t have, at least not yet. Users can also listen to song snippets from the Amazon music store.

In other iPad news, an app version of Conde Nast’s Vanity Fair is now available for $4.99, which is the same price as the version available at a physical newsstand.

The NYT got an early preview of the app, which will cost a dollar less next month. Like Conde Nast’s GQ iPhone app (it’s also been adapted for the iPad as well), the digital mag looks just like the mag when held horizontally, as the app morphs into a split screen. While Conde Nast has had to go back to the drawing board with Wired, which had been working on a tablet version with Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE), whose Flash software is not welcome in the iPad world, the VF app’s videos and photos work perfectly fine.

About six VF advertisers created placements that are unique to the iPad and are the only ones that can be viewed in vertical mode. And similar to the GQ iPhone app, there are behind the scenes videos of photo shoots, including one featuring photographer Annie Leibovitz working with soccer players for a piece on the World Cup.

As the NYT points out, it’s all still in the experimental stage. While magazines feel that tablets can recreate the print experience better than and one for a smartphone (the screen is still too small) and a PC (not as portable), publishers are rankled by the fact that Apple holds all the consumer data related to their app publications. The hope is that the VF and other forthcoming apps will whet consumers’ appetite for when the consortium of major publishers are ready to release their own digital newsstand.

There is one positive for publishers like Conde Nast selling digital mag apps through Apple’s store: thanks to recent changes in how the Audit Bureau of Circulations tabulates electronic replicas of print mags, all sales will count to a title’s total circ. The only other digital mag replicas that are on ABC’s list are Wired and Hearst’s Esquire, an ABC (NYSE: DIS) rep told us.

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