I just heard of this digital magazine for web developer: Appliness. I shared it on Twitter. A lot of people love it. Brad Frost had a thought:

I get his point. I’m a fan of computer reading too. And it seems like if it’s free you might as well put the content as many places as you can. Bring your content to the people!

But who knows.

Maybe the content is designed in such a way that it’s really nice inside the app and it would be kind lame to just plunk it on the web without a bunch of art direction.

Maybe they have a very specific business plan and driving app downloads is a huge part of that.

Maybe there is only so many hours in the day and they haven’t gotten around to delivering on the web yet.

Maybe they have a deal with tablet manufacturers that subsidize the magazine if it’s tablet only.

Maybe they are just plain out making a mistake.

I’m not disagreeing with Brad, I’m just saying 1) It’s hard to know the whole picture as an outsider and 2) don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.


  1. Doug Neiner says:

    I agree, it’s easy to be critical, but we rarely know the whole story. In this case there are PDF links on the website, so he could read them on his computer.

  2. Richard says:

    Also, Adobe.

  3. Hi guys,
    I’m the editor in chief of Appliness, so I can answer some points. I say editor in chief, but basically, we are two people working on this :)

    Indeed I work for Adobe, but Appliness was first an experiment. It wasn’t an official marketing plan to release Appliness. We wanted to “give a try” to digital publishing, and create a magazine with a nice reading experience, and a nice design for developers. I’m a developer too, and I’d love to get a reading experience for technical tutorials as good as Wired magazine, with good pictures, interactive samples, etc… I was also looking for a way to differentiate myself from classic website and blogs, although most of the content come from existing blog posts. Appliness tends to be the “best-of” technical tutorials available on the web, in a single experience, with a cool navigation.

    That said, we receive more and more requests of a browser version. We’re actively working on it. Today, our workflow is very efficient as we are only two people working on it, and not full time. Appliness is 100% free and doesn’t generate any revenue, and will never. It’s not the aim of this project. So we are using InDesign and DPS (Digital Publishing Suite). We release a PDF for desktop readers, but we know it’s not enough. We are prototyping a web version, trying to design a disruptive reading experience (such as the one on tablets). We are also working on a cool desktop client / reader. It should be available ASAP.

    BTW, if you want to contribute and publish some articles about CSS, or web development, we’d be happy to count you as a contributor.


  4. I love the implementation as an tablet app and I think it’s ok that there is no “real” web version yet, because the overall UX is awesome!

    Nevertheless, a web version would be cool ;)

  5. TeMc says:

    It needs to be an iPad too. Doesn’t work on an iPod touch. Bummer, no RSS either.