When you can choose from some of the best iPad magazine apps in iTunes, why not take advantage of the crisp display of the tablet to do away with the bother of carrying around reading material? So some might say reading on a bright screen is not quite as pleasant as thumbing through sheets of paper. But you know the instant gratification you taste when it comes to finding out more about a topic or word you don’t understand? That’s conveniently possible on connected gadgets. So without further ado here are the best options (listed in no particular order) you should try out if you’re looking for some of the coolest reading sources available in iTunes –
Flipboard has won popularity as one of the coolest tools in the market for a reason. It basically gathers content from all the social networks, blogs and websites you follow and squashes it into one simple interface which is really easy on the eyes. ‘Squashes’ was probably not the right word to use though because that’s certainly not what the UI looks like. The layout you will see is focused on images and it’s spread out beautifully to present you with a print-style design. And just when we thought it couldn’t look better, the developers went ahead and introduced a 2.0 update.
The new version of the utility actually lets you gather posts, videos or pictures into your very own personalized editions and share them, if you please. While playing the part of ‘editor,’ you can collect interesting stories and more by simply clicking the + button. If you’re more into checking out stuff through your browser, there’s a downloadable Flip It bookmarklet which will follow you around and let you add content as you surf. You can even subscribe to many popular publications such as The New York Times, W and Vanity Fair. But there’s so much more to this tool than just that. Why don’t you check it out for yourself?
Another candidate which permits you some very specific fine-tuning where the content you want to read matters, is Pulse. Advertised as an RSS reader, it lets you subscribe to blogs, websites, social networks and more from one place. It’s a matter of opinion, of course, but we find Flipboard’s design much more attractive than this one’s. Alphonso Labs clearly caters to the group of people who prefer a lot of things to click on in one UI. Owing to this, the interface appears quite cramped with tiles of feeds.
We remember remarking on the elegance of Safari Reader while reviewing the browser and Pulse takes a cue from that for presenting stories. When you click on a link, the tiles are thrown into the background and the page pops up with sharing options, minus any distractions. When you open an account, you can be sure that you will be able to access it from just about any web browser. The networking and sharing sites it supports cover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr and Reddit. If you’re bemoaning the impending exit of Google Reader, pause and download this software from iTunes. It will let you import your RSS feeds from Reader.
Price: Free (Subscription required for Premium Content)
You’ll see that personalization is the quality that all developers seem focused on while creating any kind of interactive program for regular users. But we’re sure there are times when you’d rather kick back and let AI do the thinking for you. Enter Zite, the smart way to lose yourself in content you will actually be keen on perusing. That’s the fine line which separates it from the other contenders we’ve jotted down. The recommendations you see are based on your interests, a service very similar to what Tumblr offers.
The problem with simply adding RSS readers is that you may subscribe to a source which keeps publishing posts which are not really relevant to you likes. Well, problem solved here. The UI demands that you scroll through articles rather than ‘flip’ through them. But then again, it’s not liable to bother you. The one thing you may take issue with is that all the topics you’re enthusiastic about may not necessarily be found in the pre-defined ones.
4. Editions by AOL:
This fourth candidate in our iPad magazine apps roster will also let you make your very own digital collection of stuff to read and present it print-style. The developers have built it to be a smart tool which learns about the topics that grab your eyeballs and why you dislike certain news. It works on this by studying your Facebook, Twitter, AOL/AIM and other website feeds and how you interact with them.
There are 19 sections such as Tech, Sports, TV, Travel, Entertainment, Music, Business and so on to pick from. Integrated within the program is the Facebook-iCal syncing ability to stay on top of events, birthdays or meetings, as also, local news and weather. One really cool addition is the ability to choose when you want the edition to be delivered to you. If you want to see exactly what it looks like on your display, check out the video we’ve posted above. We bet you’ll watch it all the way through just to find out what the egg scrambler is doing in the frame.
5. Google Currents:
Even though Google is tossing Reader into the trash, you can always look towards Currents to deliver your daily dose of reading delight. It draws in content from more than 180 editions such as Forbes, Fast Company, Saveur, The Guardian, PBS, Huffington Post and more, all for free. You can start by downloading Currents and picking the publications you’re into. You can add in RSS feeds, but Twitter and Facebook updates don’t show within the interface.
On the other hand, you can share articles to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. The navigation has improved since the recent update in order to allow for vertical swipes if you want to get your finger on unread news in an edition and horizontal swipes for switching to another edition within the same category. Two things that stand out are the inclusion of Translate in 44 languages and offline reading.
It’s time to dip into your wallet now with Zinio, a true-blue rival amongst all those jostling for space amongst the contenders. From within the interface you can subscribe to various publications covering big names such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Esquire, Economist, Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar, Harvard Business Review, Hola, Maxim, National Geographic, New Scientist, The Atlantic, The Smithsonian, Vanity Fair, Vogue and so on.
There are over 5000 digital editions to select from and you can also read some for free. One of its better features is the ability to let you sync your library across platforms. You can get your content to auto-download so that it is available to read offline too. There’s probably no better way of reading without having to deal with dog-eared stacks of material which take up precious space.
Price: Upwards from $0.99 for subscriptions
7. Next Issue:
If you hear ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’ and the only thing that registers is all-you-can-eat, Next Issue sure has a treat for you. For fans of unlimited entertainment, there are two schemes to subscribe to when you download this one. The Basic plan renders access to over 80 sources such as Allure, Backpacker, Better Homes and Gardens, Car and Driver, Condé Nast Traveler, Elle, Esquire, Food & Wine, Fortune, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Men’s Fitness, Seventeen, Vanity Fair and more.
The Premium plan has all the Basic titles on the plate as well as weekly publications. Some of the names on display here are The New Yorker, People, Time, Sports Illustrated, Golf World and Entertainment Weekly. The coolest part of the deal? You don’t have to start counting out the coins for it right away. The company offers a month-long trial period after which you can sign up for the service if you like it.
Price: $9.99 per month (Basic), $14.99 monthly (Premium)
Of course, apart from these best iPad magazine apps we’ve mentioned, there’s also Newsstand. The only problem with it is the fact that you’ve got to scour iTunes for the publications you wish to subscribe to and then add them to Newsstand. It’s not a very user-friendly way to go about things, so we’re showing it no love. Do you feel any different on the subject? What about the options we’ve listed above – any suggestions you’d like to throw in? Do express your views through the comments section below.