On Monday, the New Yorker became the latest magazine — and Condé Nast title — to launch an iPad application. To introduce the app to readers, the magazine got Jason Schwartzman to star in a short film, directed by Roman Coppola. (Coppola co-wrote "The Darjeeling Limited" — which Schwartzman starred in — with Wes Anderson.)
"It is billed as an instructional video to help you use the New Yorker application on the device," a note on the New Yorker's website reads, "but we should caution that taking your iPad into the shower, as Schwartzman does, may void the warranty."
The price of the iPad version is $4.99 per issue — $1.00 less than the newsstand price of the print version. (As has been widely discussed, publishers do not yet have the option of selling subscriptions or bundle offers through the iTunes Store — a reality that is already irking some New Yorker subscribers.)
More from the editors' note:
We’re at once delighted and a little bewildered about this latest digital development and our place in it: delighted because of the quality of what the tablet provides and the speed with which the magazine can be distributed, but bewildered, too, because we’d be liars if we said we knew precisely where technology will lead. These are early days. Right now, editing for the iPad feels similar to making television shows just after the Second World War, when less than one per cent of American households owned a television. And yet the general flow of things is clear: the digital revolution is already both long-standing and swift; there will be many more iPads sold; and competitors will inevitably follow. Some may even be roll-up-able. (Readers longing for digital scent strips will have to be patient.)
The one thing we are sure of is the purpose of the magazine. The New Yorker will always be foremost about free expression, about the written word, about reading. Technology, the means of delivering this writing, is a very important, but secondary, matter, and we intend to keep providing the magazine in whatever form seems to work. Editors here are always willing to make improvements in the cause of writing.