The Beatles iPad app launching Thursday, digital replicas of Rolling Stone and US Weekly magazines in the works

Wenner Media, best known for its music and politics biweekly Rolling Stone, will roll out digital replicas of both the Rolling Stone and US Weekly magazines for Apple’s iPad by early 2012. Digital versions of their dead tree counterparts will allegedly shy away from bells’n’whistles. In addition, the publisher will release the Beatles book app for iPad this coming Thursday, December 1.

A companion to the The Beatles: The Ultimate Album-by-Album Guide book that came out this summer, the app basically repurposes print content and sports much of the material from the Beatles’ book, MocoNews.net reports. This includes 122 pages with over 60 photos, enriched  with 30-second previews of each song and interviews. The Beatles app will set you back ten bucks and will not initially launch on Android. And while we’re at the Beatles, it appears as part of the Apple Records settlement Yoko Ono got to copy Apple’s website look and feel.

Interestingly, it wasn’t that long ago that Jann Wenner, the co-founder of Wenner Media, dissed digital magazines as a fad. In a May AdAge interview, Wenner called out other publishers for scrambling to release tablet apps, painting the trend as “sheer insanity and insecurity and fear”. Perhaps the success of iOS 5 Newsstand prompted him to reconsider his stance? Last year, Wenner also organized a protest of sorts by running the magazine industry ad campaign that had promoted the “power of print”.

In a somewhat related app news, TED’s official app is finally available on the iPhone.

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Early biography publication “not related to any decline” in Steve Jobs’s health (BONUS: front and back cover detailed)


Image courtesy of Simon & Schuster. Click for larger.

The official Steve Jobs biography, which is based on forty interviews and set for publication by Simon & Schuster November 21, sports the memorable front cover shot depicting Apple’s leader touching his guru-like beard, his eyes piercing intensely at the camera and eyebrows slightly lifted as if he is imagining Apple’s next big thing. That image, also found on Apple’s recently revamped PR website under the Apple Leadership section, is the Albert Watson portrait taken in 2009, author Walter Isaacson revealed in a private email exchange with Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt. The back cover?

The back is a Norman Seeff portrait of him in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh, which ran in Rolling Stone in January 1984. The title font is Helvetica. It will look as you see it, with no words on the back cover.

More important to Apple fans, the earlier than expected book launch – which had been originally pinpointed for March 6, 2012 – has nothing to do with the state of Steve Jobs’s health, Isaacson told Fortune’s Elmer-DeWitt. Apple’s boss has gone on an indefinite sick leave in January 2011, his third health-related leave of absence from the company he co-founded. Here’s from Isaacson:

It’s actually not related to any decline. I turned most of the book in this past June. It’s now all done and edited. The March 2012 date (or whatever date it was) was never a deeply-considered pubdate. Like the original cover design, it came about because the publisher wanted to put something in the database last spring.

This is obviously an important tidbit for Apple fans concerned about Steve’s well-being. Go past the fold for the publisher’s long description of the book.  The book is available for Pre-Order at Amazon for $20.

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