By Randy Herring on Tue, 09/06/2011
TRVL is a free iPad only travel and photography magazine. Each issue of TRVL is a single article that covers a single location or topic. TRVL was the first iPad exclusive magazine in the world. It was first made out of a spare bedroom by its founders, Michel Elings and Jochem Wijnands.
I read several issues of the magazine while writing this review including Cornwall, Whale Watching, Venice, Mississippi Spitsbergen and Rio de Janeiro. I love both travel and photography and this magazine places both of these hobbies of mine front and center.
While most of the issues are free, TRVL just published its first paid issue, Afghanistan, which they describe as a coffee table book. Their web site now has tabs for both articles and photo books. The $1.99 Afghanistan issue is listed under photo books. When asked if the article issues would remain free, Michel Elings replied, “Yes!”
I find the photography to be very high quality. There are several pages devoted just to photographs. I love seeing the wonderful full page photos. As someone who enjoys photography, seeing these photos get so much space in a magazine adds to my enjoyment of the issue. Many of the photographs are geo-tagged. The tag takes the reader to a Google Maps satellite view of the location where the photograph was taken. The issues also contain videos. Both of these features are an excellent way to make use of the iPad’s technology.
The articles I read were well written and very enjoyable to read. I felt like the writer was taking me along on the journey to a wonderful destination. I got a real feel for the location and more importantly its culture. The Cornwall issue had a focus on life today along the rugged sea coast while also sharing the area’s rich history. The Rio issue contrasted the glamour of Carnival with life in the overpopulated favelas, or slums. The photos were key to portraying this contrast.
TRVL has a menu interface that appears along the top and bottom of the page when touched. The top bar allows movement between pages, bookmarking and sharing. The bottom bar provides access to downloaded issues, the store where additional issues can be downloaded, a flip view of pages in the article and a photo report on the photography of the issue.
I found TRVL easy to use. A swipe to the left or right allows you to move between pages. The menu bar’s flip view provides an easy way to jump around in the issue. The store provides a preview of the issue containing thumbnails of the issue’s photographs.
The New York Times said, “To read a TRVL article on the iPad is to be transported to that destination, with excellent photography and evocative storytelling.”
TRVL is free in the iTunes App Store. As of this writing, it has a 5 star rating which is well deserved. I also give it a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.