In February, I wrote here about a demonstration video from Wired magazine – a video designed to provide a glossy introduction to how magazines, newspapers and books could be transformed by the iPad and other touch-screen computers. In the days before the iPad went on sale, the Wired video became a touchstone for the excitement of early adopters.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the introduction of the iPad in April. The Wired magazine app wasn’t ready.

This morning, it went live, and after a few minutes with it, I can only say: It’s amazing – combining videos, interactivity and vivid colors in ways that transform the experience of reading a magazine.  When was the last time you touched the cover of magazine, and it showed you a clip from Pixar’s new movie, Toy Story 3?

Time magazine has taken its lumps for pricing its iPad app at $4.99 per copy. The Wired app also costs $4.99, and I’m betting there will be many fewer complaints.

Whether touch-screens offer a new business model for journalism will be tested over time. Profitability still means building a business in which revenues exceed the costs of production. But this Wired app is very slick.

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