Developer: Next Issue Media
Price: Free 
Version Reviewed:
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★★
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★★ 

Magazines remain my go-to potato chip reading: light, delicate, crispy, ridden with flavor and tons of guilt. My grandmother’s house was the ultimate source to scour new issues of Ladies Home Journal and Better Homes and Gardens, where I could bury my curious nose in the contents of slick pages ripe with heady scents and gender-biased Sears ads.

I love the idea of virtual books, but I am particularly fond of virtual magazines. Magazines are the rare rubies of our literary culture. They represent a specific time and place. Their incredible relevance in pop culture binds me to the notion of cataloguing them within polished cherry bookcases. Yet this is difficult. Magazines are meant to be consumed and thrown out like the faddish cultural customs they promote. My only hope of hanging onto them has been to file them back in the time capsule of my mind.

The new app Next Issue is especially enticing to me, since it provides a deep, rich catalogue of paperless options. With my monthly subscription fee, I can wade through virtual pages of Vanity Fair, Living Simple, Wired, Parents, and Better Homes and Gardens, among others.

I don’t have to pick through every stand of the supermarket endcap while my groceries get loaded onto the moving black belt. Next Issue’s mags don’t pile up on my nightstand, either. Next Issue’s offerings are also far more wide-ranging and enjoyable than Apple’s Newstand. Finding viable options for light flight eye-fare is tiresome when the choices are so few.

Some users who have already tried Next Issue may find the lack of Retina Display unusable for proper reading, although the visual upgrade is “on its way,” according to developers. Next Issue seems well worth the $14.99 monthly subscription fee for the variety of magazine options available. Some of the content is mature, so Next Issue Media warns that a subscriber must be 17 years of age or older to purchase available material.

Next Issue promises to set the bar higher for consumers who enjoy economical and ecoconscious consumption. Easy to access and easy to use, Next Issue is likely to be a top-selling and top-performing app. Enjoying the pleasures of the enormously beautiful and obsessively organized back issue collection of National Geographic at my grandparents’ house was never this easy.

Tottering on the piano bench to grasp at the tall bookshelf and make a selection may have been my grandparents’ way of keeping those golden-spined treasure nuggets out of my grubby girlhood hands. The world is ever-changing and ever-changed with the advent of smart technology. Next Issue may be just the thing to satisfy my wanting soul.

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