The cover of the first Playboy, from 1953.
I’ve been testing a lot of apps. A very interesting one is iPlayboy, from Playboy magazine. It’s bad porn but a good magazine, especially since you can read issues from its cultural heyday – the Mad Men era of the 60s.
You can’t get iPlayboy from the App Store, because Apple bans porn. But Playboy isn’t really porn. An average magazine is like 70% ads, 20% copy and 10% chaste women nude. The modern magazine kinda sucks, but the app is worth it for the back issues. The interviews, fiction and commentary from the 1950s, 60s and 70s are high quality stuff. There are interviews, for example, with Malcolm X. He advocates some pretty racist stuff, before he evolved. And Marshall McCluhan and, more recently, Jon Stewart and Jon Hamm.
There’s also fiction from Arthur C. Clarke and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (in the first issue). The 1953 issue seems to have been put together by Hugh Hefner’s hand in those cut paste days. It has amazing line drawings and really edgy, interesting content.
Trippy line art.
Another interesting feature is that you can see all the old (and new) ads. Some of the copy and art direction from back in the day is amazing, and I’m a big Mad Men fan, so it’s nice seeing what their work was like at the time.
Technically, also, the iPlayboy app is interesting. For one thing, it’s HTML5, so it runs on the browser, tablet or whatever. It’s not really an app (because Apple would ban it), it’s a website that’s built around touch. It also loads really really fast. I don’t know how, but you can flip through high quality pages at a satisfying speed, a far cry from most shitty Flash magazines, or PDF.
So that’s the iPlayboy App (NSFW). It costs $8 a month, or about Rs. 1,000.