McSweeney's re-launches for iPad, features e-bookstore

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Literary magazine McSweeney’s updated its much-lauded iPhone app this week, converting it into a universal app optimized for iPad use. The latest version also features access to a new in-app e-bookstore.

McSweeney’s 2.0 launched Wednesday. New features include the ability to share articles via Facebook and Twitter, as well as upgraded graphics for the iPhone 4’s Retina display. The app also includes “handcrafted push notifications” by lit-minded indie musicians.

The most intriguing addition, though, may be McSweeney’s new e-bookstore. Offerings are limited—the latest issue of the magazine is available for $1, but just four other books are available, including the 1988 debut novel of acclaimed writer Michael Chabon, Mysteries of Pittsburgh. (The books range in price from $6 to $15.) Rather than shove different texts into a standardized format—like the iBooks or Kindle apps—each book in McSweeney’s features its own customized illustrations and typesetting, part of an effort to ensure that, as the developer says, “e-books do not need to be depressing or ugly.” The downside? If you’re a reader who has bad eyes, you’re out of luck if you want to bump up the text size.

Registration is required for the upgraded app; the magazine says that means book and magazine purchases will be available and synced for users viewing the content on multiple devices. McSweeney’s costs $6, and is compatible with any device running iOS 3.1.3 or later.

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