iPad magazines: Reader’s Digest is warmly familiar

September 30, 2011

Although there have been a lot misses, the digital magazine phenomenon on the iPad is gaining momentum. One of the titles helping to push it forward is Reader’s Digest, a decidedly last century magazine with a salt n’ pepper, middle American readership.

In the official Reader’s Digest (free) app, a single issue sells for $3.99 and a one-year subscription goes for $14.99. These prices aren’t that attractive compared to the $5.95 one year and $15 three-year rates offered by third-party resellers.

The digital edition does include extra digital only jokes, videos, automatic scoring and audio pronunciations in Word Power and much more. The app is very attractive and it’s loaded with links to additional content, though the ads aren’t interactive.

See also: Top 10 best free magazines for iPad

Navigation is just as you’d imagine: left and right to move between articles, and up and down to read an article, plus there’s a draggable navigation bar for quick browsing.

Same is as it ever was…

While standing watch in the Coast Guard station in Juneau, Alask, I got a call from the Navy in the nearby city of Adak. They had lot contact with one of their planes and they the Coast Guard to send an aircraft to go find it. I asked the man where the Navy aircraft had last been spotted so we would know where to search.

‘I can’t tell,’ the Navy man said. ‘That’s classified.'”

The iPad version of the magazine won’t get thumb worn and it’s fast n’ easy to find exactly where you left off.

As is oft the case with print subs, Reader’s Digest gives away the iPad edition when you buy the dead trees. However, to enjoy that you’ll have to subscribe directly through Reader’s Digest which asks for $10 a year and $15 for two years.

Nonetheless, not a bad deal — print + iPad editions — when taken altogether.

A better deal?

Zinio’s full spread view is nice for browsing, just flipping pages.

You can also get Reader’s Digest through Zinio (free), a magazine app that’s available on the iPad, iPhone and Mac (bonus). The annual subscription rate is just $10, too.

However, the Zino version offers better navigation and the ads are actually linked to the internet via sandboxed pages. So, when an ad says Like us on the Facebook for special deals, that’s (mostly) what you get.

Also, the Reader’s Digest on Zinio offers both portrait and landscape layouts, which I like better than the official portrait only app. Also, you pull up just the text when the layout gets in the way.

My wife and I went with Zinio, a decision that was made even easier as we had a $5 off coupon from Zinio.

Ready to go digital with your Reader’s Digest subscription — which way will you go?

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