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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bye Bye, Babes! Maxim’s iPad App Bows Out.

Tablet magazine app launches still get plenty of attention, so it seems only fair to note when one disappears: Maxim HD, an iPad-specific version of the baberific print magazine, has called it quits, less than a year after launch.

A message which went up this month on the app’s iTunes page says its last issue was June, and directs users to try an older version of the app, which works on both iPads and iPhones. (Thanks to reader Steve Anderson for flagging.)

It’s not unusual for developers to abandon apps, of course. But this may be the first instance I’ve seen of a publisher bailing on an iPad-specific app. This spring, Condé Nast went the other way and dropped three magazine’s iPhone apps produced in-house in order to concentrate on iPad versions built on Adobe’s tablet publishing platform.

The advantage of an iPad-specific app is that it can be built to take advantage of the machine’s specific assets, the most obvious being its larger screen size. App developers have also used the platform as an opportunity to try super-sizing their pricing, and often charge more for an iPad app than one that works on the iPhone.

In this case, though, Maxim publisher Alpha Media is bucking the trend: It sold HD versions of its magazine for $3.99 a pop, but the remaining app goes for $2.99 a copy.

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