Developer: Zinio
Price: App Free, Mags Vary
Version Reviewed: 1.5
Reviewed on: iPad

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Zinio's Store

Zinio has been an established player in digital magazines for a while. They have offered desktop readers for a while, and have had an app for the iPhone as well. The iPad is a natural fit for Zinio – I’m sure the company is thanking Steve Jobs for giving it the perfect platform on which to display their content. Zinio has partnered with an impressive list of publishers and magazines to deliver their content. Among them are popular publications like BusinessWeek, The Economist, National Geographic, MacWorld, iPhone Life, and Car & Driver. They are each available for download through Zinio’s in-app store for varying prices and subscriptions. That’s right – Zinio offers subscriptions! That’s something we haven’t seen in other magazine applications. The Economist, for example, costs $6.99 per issue or $126.99 for 51 digital issues. The cost savings shouldn’t be lost on any readers – it’s cheaper than you’d find in independent apps like Newsweek or TIME.

Zinio’s store includes tons of magazines, each with varying degrees of interactivity. It’s hard to rate the application itself on its interactivity as it depends on the individual publisher. Zinio does, however, offer a terrific “text” and “page” feature that allows users to see magazines laid out as they are in paper form – as a “page” – and in simplified text form that’s easier on the eyes. The table of contents are clearly and thoughtfully laid out, and even include a zoomed out set of pages for the user to review.

Zinio has been in the business of digital magazines for a while, and this app shows their commitment. It’s definitely not a finished effort, but it’s among the furthest along that I’ve looked at. It’s a little frustrating to watch the application’s introduction video, but the app itself is worth the wait. Give it a shot – the app itself is free and comes with three free issues to read.

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