Zinio for the iPad is one of the best iPad apps I’ve come across, and as a free iPad app it’s really tough to justify not at least checking it out. It’s a digital magazine app that has changed the way of the magazine world. Print publications are fading more and more to apps like this and I see them going away completely within the next few years. There's not much need anymore for print magazines when we can carry hundreds or thousands of them around in our backpack (or cargo pocket if you have the iPad mini). No more worries about static or creased pages, annoying cardboard mail requests falling out, or being embarrassed of being the only guy on the train thumbing through a Home & Lifestyle! With over 5,000 magazine titles to choose from, you won’t find yourself becoming bored with their selection any time soon.
Now, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this awesome app.
Upon opening Zinio you will land on the welcome page where you can select, at the bottom, to “Explore”, “Read”, or “Shop”. At the side of the welcome screen you will see a list of categories that lead to free articles that you can download and read.
I first thought the free article section was a gimmick to trick people into buying more magazines, but it turns out that it is just a legitimate place to download and enjoy an article for free with no “sign up here!” things popping up. I actually think this feature has led to me buying a few subscriptions!
Ok, now let’s click on “Read”. This brings you into your collection of magazines that you’ve already purchased and are waiting for download, indicated by a down arrow icon, or ones that are downloaded and are ready to be opened up. The Read section is organized by Date or Title. If you prefer to keep your magazines organized by date then it comes down to year, then you can select if you would like to display all months or click from a list of each month individually. If you select title, it will collect your same-titled magazines and stack them in an electronic pile which is pretty cool and a good way to keep them organized if you have a ton of reading material, like I do. They are then displayed alphabetically on a single scroll-down page.
When an issue is ready to be downloaded, you simply click the magazine with the download icon over it and it will open and start downloading. Even on a subpar internet connection, the download will only take a minute or so and the pages update in real time so you will be able to start reading as soon as the first page or two are ready while the rest downloads. Now you’re all set to kick back at the beach and read the latest gossip, but none of that can happen with out shopping for your favorite reads first!
Migrating over to the “Shop” icon, still located at the bottom of the screen, you’ll find a very easy to use interface. By default, you will be looking at the “featured” magazines first. These are usually the pretty popular o
nes and might be just what you’re looking for. You can also shop by top sellers, new arrivals, under $10.99, trending, and staff picks. Below all of this are you categories like Art, Entertainment, Home, etc. If you are looking for a specific title then your best bet is to utilize the search bar at the top of the screen. If you were to search “mac” a list of all titles with the word mac in them come up. I’ve clicked on Macworld and now I can either subscribe for the year, buy the current issue, or even search through past issues that go back for years, which is my favorite part. Most subscriptions cost substantially less than they do in print, some even up to 60% cheaper. It’s great that they chose to not rip off us consumers just because they can.
Zinio has really hit it out of the park with this app, like I said, it is definitely one of the best iPad apps around. I used to not read too many magazines but have over 50 issues on my iPad right now mainly due to the convenience of not having to deal with physical items, so watch out for the shopping bug that may come with this app! Thanks for stopping by to read my review of Zinio for iPad.