The Gadgets Page

September 24, 2010

Magazine Apps for the iPad

Filed under: eBook Readers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

OK Magazine is my shameful pleasureI have been reluctant to write about Zinio and the People Magazine iPad apps because honestly, I didn’t want anyone to know how many horrible magazines I read. I LOVE reading them, but I don’t want the whole world to know that I love them.

I have easily spent over a hundred dollars on digital magazine subscriptions since I bought my iPad. Magazines that I would never allow into my mailbox or sit on my counter or pass through my checkout line are happily loaded onto my iPad. I still feel guilty reading them, but I CAN read them without anyone knowing how white trash I am.

Zinio Magazine AppBy far, my favorite app is Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader [iTunes link]. I have subscribed to US Weekly, OK Magazine, Cosmo and Elle. All four of these I would never allow in my home because I’m so embarrassed by them. I’ve also subscribed to Weight Watchers, Smithsonian and Bicycle Times. I wouldn’t have ever bought a subscription to them before because I couldn’t deal with the clutter of unread magazines in my house. Recycling them without reading them is just too painful for me, so I just didn’t bother with those kinds of magazines for years because I knew I wouldn’t read them every month.

I love the freedom of a digital subscription because I can delete or download whatever issues I want. I can read them at my leisure and if it takes MONTHS to get around to looking at them, it doesn’t matter because they’ll wait, sight unseen in my iPad until I have the time to look at them. I can take screen shots of things I want to buy and I NEVER have clutter in my home.

People Magazine App for iPadThe PEOPLE Magazine App [iTunes Link], however was so irritating that I had to delete it. There are so many things wrong with this app that it’s hard to know where to start. They offered the lure of additional digital content, so I thought they would be better than having the same subscription with Zinio, but I was sorely mistaken.

  • You MUST buy the print subscription: People Magazine is just barely reputable enough to be allowed in my mailbox, so I didn’t have a problem with their requirement to buy a subscription. I DO have a problem with the paper magazines that show up in my mailbox every week, however. I would much rather prefer the digital only version, even if I had to pay the same price.
  • It’s a TIME SUCK: Downloading issues takes at least ten minutes and it HAS to be done over wi-fi, so that’s a pain. After I read an issue, I can’t delete it, so when I sync my iPad, it takes easily a half hour for iTunes to back up all my stupid back issues. After I deleted the app, my sync time went from over forty minutes to less than two minutes.
  • It isn’t even the full People Magazine: When I compare it to my print copy, the digital version is missing almost all of the advertising and the crossword puzzle. Some people might not care about missing the advertising, but honestly, sometimes the ads are better than the content with People Magazine, so I really felt like the digital version wasn’t as good.
  • The extra digital content is useless: There ARE videos that aren’t included in the print version that I can watch and I kind of liked those, but they certainly weren’t worth the forty minutes of my time it takes to download them and back them up on my computer.

Time Inc. should take a look at how Zinio is handling things. I have spent FAR more money on digital subscriptions with them and I like them WAY better. The People Magazine App isn’t worth the time to download it.

In the end, I absolutely LOVE getting my magazines digitally on the iPad. It decreases my household clutter and I get to enjoy my shameful pleasures without anyone looking down on me. Thanks, Zinio!

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