24 September 2009, terribly early in the morning
Yesterday I decided to grab the McSweeney’s iPhone application. The quarterly they put out is held in very high regard, and the content they put online is hilarious, more often than not. (For example: Iran or Star Wars.) The application is $6, and is subscription based. Buying the application signs you up for 6 months of content from what they are calling the Small Chair. This content is pulled from sources that aren’t available online, and is updated weekly. You can subscribe for another 180 days of content for an additional $5. This is done using the newly added in-app purchase features introduced with iPhone OS 3.0. They also pull free content from their Internet Tendencies website, though I suppose this isn’t what you’re paying for.
This seems like a pretty smart idea to me. It’s an easily digestible version of a magazine, which seems well suited for an on-the-go device like the iPhone. The application lets you bookmark spots in the story/article you are reading, and has a fairly nice interface. I’ll be curious to see if anyone else copies the approach McSweeney’s is taking with this application. I could see Harper’s doing something like this since they already have so much content online, but behind a subscription wall.
The first ‘issue’ of the Small Chair is a story by Wells Tower. It’s good so far.