“Magazines are actually pretty brilliant concepts the way they are,” said Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter on Tuesday as he previewed his magazine’s new iPad app. “At the same time, we have a few bells and whistles that a magazine cannot provide.”The app for the June issue, which is expected to be available at the iTunes store starting Wednesday, will cost $4.99, the same price as a paper Vanity Fair. (Subsequent copies will cost $3.99.)
In a penthouse apartment in Manhattan’s Chinatown on a recent Monday night, chopped shiitake mushrooms and looked rather relaxed for someone about to host a 14-person dinner. She had arranged the party through the app AirDine, which lets users pay to eat at strangers’ houses, rating the experience afterwards. The app started in last year, and expanded to the and elsewhere in March.
The challenge is not finding hosts willing to invite strangers over. It’s finding guests willing to show up. “My thought was, it must be hard to find these amazing chefs and hosts, and convince them to do it out of their home. That actually hasn’t been the obstacle,” said Susan Kim, the chief executive of EatWith, whose site started in 2012. “When people try it, they love it, but how do we get people to try this new way of experiencing a city or a new way of eating out?