Project, the iPad-exclusive magazine launched by Richard Branson’s Virgin last year, was updated yesterday to include a new issue that, unlike the previous ones, makes extensive use of the iPad 2 hardware to bring an HTML5-based, gyroscope-enabled animated cover to the readers. Project has always stood out as an example of a digital magazine willing to experiment more than the competition with interactive elements and on-screen graphics; and although it’s not perfect — like most magazine, text isn’t selectable and the overall navigation is based on old print schemes — I have to say I’m always curious to see what the Project team comes up with for each issue. It started with a video-like animated cover, and it continues in the latest Issue #5.
The design team told us the new issue uses the gyroscope to control HTML5 canvas objects: you can pan horizontally by moving your iPad around and see the various movies characters featured by Project in this month’s cover. You can’t do much with this feature, but we think it’s really interesting that magazine designers are starting to play around with the iPad’s hardware capabilities — and we’re definitely looking forward to more examples of this kind of integration with content and hardware.
The latest issue of Project is available as a $2.99 in-app purchase.