Discover-logo_270x102 The iPad is so popular these days that everything is coming out with special interfaces for it. There was Pulse, which turns a selection of favorite RSS feeds into something similar to a magazine. Then there was Flipboard, which does the same for links posted to social networks.

Now here are a couple more web media joining the party. Cooliris, a company known for its browser and iPhone photo apps, has created an app for the iPad called Discover that imports content from Wikipedia and reformats it into an iPad-magazine-style interface. Cooliris hopes eventually to bring the same reformatting technique to more content from elsewhere on the web.

Meanwhile, a new WordPress plug-in called PadPressed brings iPad features such as swiping to advance articles to WordPress blogs, making them act more like iPad magazine applications. Like Cooliris, programmer Jason Baptiste has greater ambitions for his plug-in: “We did WordPress first because it’s the largest thing there is next we’re doing Tumblr, Posterous, Moveable Type, and then custom CMSs.”

Whether it will kill the Kindle or not, it’s hard to argue that the iPad has not already had an indelible influence on user interfaces—just like other Apple products that came before it.


  1. Agreed. In my almost thirty years around computers, I don’t think I’ve seen any other gadget that’s matured this quickly into something so useful. Jeff Bezos may claim he is not worried, but he should be.

    The soon-to-be-out new Kindle had me looking at what it offers yesterday. I concluded that if your main interest is buying and reading books or magazines, it’s the best product on the market. The long battery life and readability in sunlight are especially helpful.

    But for almost any other purpose, it comes up sadly lacking. Moving your own documents onto it is clumsy and can cost money. I sometimes complain about iTunes, but it’s a lot better than the Kindle’s two options for loading documents: send them as an email or mount the Kindle as a USB drive and move files into folders manually. Come on Amazon. The Kindle’s been out long enough there should be support applications on Macs and PCs that make that sort of thing easy. And why no support for EPUB or for checking ebooks out of public libraries?

    I was also struck by what the Kindle does not do. Improve the klutzy keyboard, and the Kindle would make a marvelous little emailer, especially for travelers. So why is email only used as a clumsy way to move documents? And that’s not all. The Kindle’s always-on screen placed in a holder would make it ideal for a calendar and to-do list display, perhaps synching with Google Calendar. Things like that matter. One reason I love my iPod touch is the way its calendar synchs with iCal on my iMac.

    In short he Kindle is marvelously clever, but I’m afraid it’s little more than a one-trick pony. When the price drops below $100, I’ll be very tempted to buy one. But I’ll also need to consider if I’d be happier applying that $100 toward one of the more compact iPads that, rumors say, Apple will be launching before Christmas.

  2. I am so tired of the ‘will iPad kill the Kindle’ comments. They are not the same thing, apples to oranges.

    One, I know it’s hard to believe, but there are many of us who don’t buy into Apple’s proprietary little universe.

    “The Kindle’s been out long enough there should be support applications on Macs and PCs that make that sort of thing easy.”

    Why? How hard is it to plug your Kindle into your laptop or PC and copy over a few files? It only takes seconds and it’s far preferable than proprietary iTunes or Zune apps. I have a Zen MP3 player for just that reason. It’s just a big Flash drive and I can use it with any media management app I want to or just copy files via the file system. I don’t have to install some app on anyone else’s computer and I don’t have to wait for a proprietary app to load and index. In fact, my kids now prefer to use their Android phones for their music instead of their Zunes, I just got them 16GB microSD cards. It’s a lot quicker to sync using the file system or Media Player than to boot up Zune. The phones were free with an extension of our contract and the cards were $32. A lot better investment than hundreds of dollars for an Apple product.

    Just like the title says “Media keep coming up iPad” not books. The Kindle and other eReaders are for people who read books, they don’t need to do anything else. I can bet that most people who read a lot are NOT reading on the iPad, it’s too big and it has a hard to read LCD screen with glare. The iPad is for media. Frankly, I don’t know why anyone would use an expensive iPad when a netbook is the same size, does all of the same functions and more, and multitasks, for half the price. Plus you don’t have to buy a separate keyboard, etc.

    And finally, the Kindle Store has far more books to choose from than iBooks, including the dozens of free books Amazon offers every month and low-priced indie authors.

    iPads are for people who like media and the Apple company and their products. Kindles and other eReaders are for people who love to read.

  3. Hey Chris,

    Really appreciate the mention! (quick error: link to PadPressed is actually to cooliris article) The great thing about the iPad is the fact that we have a new way to present content. It’s certainly the best device to consumer content, but the problem is that the content is still formatted for laptop+click instead of tablet+touch. We’re hoping PadPressed lets publishers do that with their existing content. We’re starting with WordPress because that’s the largest. It’s also the most difficult due to the open nature and many nuances of each installation (is it wp 3.0? what plugins?) It’s a beta first version, but there’s a lot more planned. We’re about release our second bug fix version in two days.


  4. I read lots of books on the iPad. (it’s great being able to use the backlighting – less disruptive to my husband’s sleep!) The killer app, though, for me anyway, is magazines!

    It’s not all courtesy of iTunes either. I use GoodReader to load in PDFs. Stanza lets me download epubs from anywhere. (And I get my music from Emusic for the most part, with an occasional field trip to Amazon – can’t beat their $5 album sales!)

  5. I read quite a lot and read magazines, newspapers and books on the Ipad but I do many other things with the Ipad also. I don’t want to carry two devices and the Ipad fits easily in most of my handbags. Like Katherine I’m a Goodreader user as well as office2Hd and SmartNotes and don’t find a need for my laptop 99% of the time. I rarely use iTunes –mostly to backup occasioally.

  6. We wanted to let you know there is a new version of Discover by Cooliris available, now with offline mode.

    Since launching July 31, Discover by Cooliris has been consistently ranking among the top free apps. Fast-forward [five weeks] and [225,000] downloads later, today’s launch of version 1.1 only promises to make Discover even hotter.

    With the introduction of offline mode in Discover 1.1, users can enjoy Wikipedia articles with Discover anywhere and anytime when they are not connected to the Internet — on an airplane, in a car, at the cabin in the woods, you name it. The upgrade also includes several tweaks that make navigation even more seamless.

    To learn more you can see the full blog post:

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