Originally Posted by ErikJohEve
I would have backed this if it was developed as an html application. You can serve retina graphics with CSS3 and the content would have been viewable on any device. There is no reason locking it up to only iPad.
We wanted to offer more than just a "dumb" reader with full offline search of the entire article archive, tagged people, companies and movie titles, plus higher-than-screen-resolution photos. Developing such a reader app for the iPad has been a significant investment that we hope to at least partially fund through this campaign. We believe the added features are worth it.
At this time we are focusing on restoring the back catalogue and creating an optimal experience on the iPad. If the campaign is successful we might consider other platforms, and we are actively looking into what options are available, but we can't promise anything beyond that we will make the iPad app shine!
We wanted to offer full article search even of articles you don't have on your device. We also wanted you to be able to search for "ILM" without having to wade through 6,372 hits for "film."
We wanted you to be able to zoom in on the images and look at the details.
We wanted to offer both a screen-optimized reading experience while still giving you the option to look at the page as it was printed, including all the old ads.
We found that this could not be achieved with any off-the-shelf solution.
PDF is a layout format, very unsuitable for searching as text columns do not really link to each other. PDF is beautiful but dumb text, plus slow to render. No offline search of issues not on your device, no tagged search. Also: where would you buy the PDFs? What transaction handling system should be used?
Kindle has a 127 KB maximum size of images, and doesn't really offer tagged search or offline search of issues not on your device.
EPUB doesn't really have popular store front, transaction system, or either offline/tagged search or high-res image viewing.
Finally, the economic incentive is to avoid publishing to something that is easily pirated. People have been scanning and sharing Cinefex issues since the BBS days, but imagine how many would be tempted to do this with a PDF?