The latest edition of the The Next Web Magazine for iPad is now live. This month, our topic is design, which could not be more topical following Apple’s radical refresh of its iOS mobile operating system, and Microsoft’s retooling of Windows 8.

Stagnation of design appears to now sit complicit with stagnation of platform, a slow motion death sentence. Therefore, how to keep a product fresh across iteration cycles, without sacrificing core design aesthetics, and themes, is a recurring challenge.

The short answer to the implied question is that Apple and Microsoft have both stumbled in the past year attempting to refresh their yet successful products. You cannot argue that iOS 6 and Windows 7 were lackluster; but to move the two operating systems forward has been a herculean task and $100 billion dollar bet.

Snag your iPad, download the issue, and read what we have in place for you this month:

  • How Dribbble became the most influential online platform for graphic designers – Nick Summers
  • Instagram: A brief history – Ben Woods
  • Forget flat design – Spend your time making something beautiful – Harrison Weber
  • The Importance of Design in Technology and the Iteration Tax – Alex Wilhelm
  • Inside the mind of a designer: Meet Instagram’s Tim van Damme – Robin Wauters

As always, we have a set of songs inside via the ever excellent 22Tracks, so you might want to find a pair of headphones. Our ‘Ask the Expert’s’ section – happily dichotomized from the above content written by TNW’s editorial team – asks the following question: When to involve a designer in your product idea?

This mont’s artwork is via Kuvva, the video content comes from Wappzapp, and the short list of companies that you need to keep an eye on was built by Betali.st. Let’s be honest, you have some reading to do. Get started now.

cover 730x973 Download the new issue of The Next Web Magazine: DESIGN