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Delivering long-form content directly to consumers’ mobile devices sets Travel To Go apart from other content sites and magazines that see apps as a secondary, rather than primary, delivery channel.
Cost: App is free; in-app purchases include a $1.99 per month subscription (or $19.99 per year); individual issues are $2.99. Issue No. 1 is free with the app.
What it does: Travel-oriented literary magazine for mobile devices (iPhone and iPad), with four new magazine-length narrative stories each month.
What we liked: With none of the usual oversaturated photos, ads, hotel advice or “snackable” short features that are the bulk of most travel magazines, Tales to Go is meant for people who are serious about great travel storytelling. All there is, essentially, is writing. The four stories each month cover a range of styles and topics (“from a Bible story theme park in Florida to Bangkok’s red-light district”), all chosen and edited by longtime Bay Area publisher Travelers’ Tales. The authors run the range from famous to relatively unknown, including some Northern California names. (Disclaimer: Larry Habegger, who writes the Quotable Traveler for The Chronicle, is the executive editor of Travelers’ Tales.)
Not so much: While it’s great to have a break from the prevailing emphasis on “travel porn” shots of infinity pools and palm-fringed beaches, it would be nice if each story had a single illustration, something to tickle the imagination. Also, while the iPhone version is easily readable, the larger pages on an iPad require far less scrolling.
(c)2014 the San Francisco Chronicle. Distributed by MCT Information Services.