The famous children story house has decided to get cozy with technology. Geodesic, the holding company of Chandamama, has launched a iPhone and iPad app. The app is a 20 MB download from the iTunes store and works on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch which run iOS 4.0 or later version.
The content as expected from a Chandamama magazine is good. I have learnt about the history of rice, read a Vikram/Betaal story, and watched the grandeur of London. The in-app graphics are pleasant too.
Chandamama iPad app doesn’t provide access to archived issues. June, 2011 issue is available for free and July 2011 is available for purchase. The price of 99 cents is a tad high for a digital magazine which doesn’t incur any distribution costs.
Chandamama app though released for both iPhone and iPad, is best suited for iPad app as iPhone app isn’t customized for iPhone at all. There is a pinch and zoom functionality but reading a magazine which isn’t optimized for iPhone is very difficult. The app provides a text to speech functionality but I highly recommend against it. The app’s graphics on the home screen are poorly done. It reminds me of my first powerpoint presentation. This little animation also wastes 4 seconds time to reach to the magazine content.
The index provided on the app sans hyperlinks making it difficult to browse to a particular story. There is no way to bookmark a particular story for reading later. The great flexibility of browsing and shuffling which are expected on a iPad app are missing.
The best part of the Chandamama app is, there’s an app. It is much better than not having an app at all. Of course, no one else will release an app for Chandamama. The app in its current form falls short of usability. Chandamama should probably get some inspiration from the awesome iPad app : The fantastic flying books of Morris Lessmore