Everything You Could Ever Want To Know About Reading Magazines On The iPad

new yorker ipad

Photo: Steve Rhodes

With everything tending more and more towards digital consumption, the print world is in trouble.Savvy publishers are moving their business to the digital end of the spectrum.

It’s inexpensive for them and they still get to deliver the same (or even better) content to their readers.

Want to take a swing at reading your favourite periodicals on the iPad?

Newsstand is Apple's magazine store

Apple offers Newsstand as a dedicated means for magazine publishers to make their content available to iPad users. Think of it as iBooks exclusively for magazines.

To explore Newsstand, open the folder on your home screen and tap the 'Store' button that appears in the top right.

Zinio is another option

Zinio is a third-party app with a built-in store for purchasing magazines. Buy and manage different subscriptions or just go a la carte.

Price: free

Amazon's Kindle app is another good choice

The Kindle is mostly synonymous with books, but an impressive number of magazines are available to read on the app as well.

When you browse Amazon's magazine store, many magazines come with the opportunity to buy a combination paper-and-digital subscription. If you buy one of them, it will take several weeks for the publisher to process your payment and mailing information. But you have immediate access to the current digital version, delivered over the internet to your iPad app.

Even the Nook has an iPad app

If you prefer Barnes and Noble's e-reader over the Kindle, check out its Nook app. You have similar access to a variety of magazines.

Price: free

Some periodicals use dedicated apps

Certain outlets use their own dedicated apps that you pick up from the App Store, such as The Daily and the New York Times.

They usually offer limited free content while motivating you to spring for a subscription as an in-app purchase.

Webapps are another option

Some publications would rather play by their own rules entirely.

Being in Apple's App Store means you have to follow a certain set of principles. It also means Apple takes 30% of any in-app purchases, and this is pretty much the only way for a publisher to deliver content to people while turning a profit. But there's another way.

The Financial Times, for example, recently took its app out of the App Store and put up a 'webapp,' a website optimised for the iPad, coded in a language called HTML5. Because it lives on the internet (and outside of Apple's clutches), it can do whatever it wants and keep all the revenue.

The pros of iPad magazines

You're being environmentally friendly and saving paper.

Some publishers make use of interactive features and video, which you'd never see in an 'analogue' magazine.

Any magazine you buy is saved to the cloud, so you can delete it and acquire new ones without ever worrying about losing old issues.

Other publishers like Conde Nast, give you a discount if you sign up for the iPad-only subscription.

The cons of iPad magazines

You can't lend them to your friends without physically handing them your device.

Some people still prefer holding actual paper. But it's just a matter of preference.

Where to start?

We're big fans of Amazon's magazine store due to the ability to simultaneously subscribe to paper and digital versions of magazines and then download them immediately.

Click here to head over to Amazon >

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