iPhone Books: From Print, To Screen, To Pocket
When the iPad first came out, it was touted as a possible replacement for magazines, newspapers, dedicated e-readers, and more. There are a huge number of ways to access digital “print” media on the iPad. Now that the iPhone 6 Plus (and regular iPhone 6) reached a big enough size, you can use the same tools originally built for iPad with the device that you have in your pocket all day long.
Here is a look at a few different types of print media, and how they have found a home on your mobile device:
There are a few competing ways to read books on iOS devices. iBooks is Apple’s built in solution buying and reading books on your iPhone but there is fierce competition in the eBook market, most of which are tied to physical e-readers as well. Amazon has a Kindle App, Kobo has a reading app, and Nook has their own app as well. Each of these is compatible with their respective platforms, but there is very little in the way of cross-compatibility.
All of the above solutions are powerful and easy to use, but once you pick one, you’re more or less stuck with it, unless you want to split your purchases into multiple platforms. A few features that they all offer is font size and style customization, dictionary support, and night-reading modes to help reduce strain on your eyes.
Many magazines feature colorful layouts, pictures, and other visuals, making them a great companion for your retina screen.
Newsstand is Apple’s solution, providing a dedicated folder on your home screen as well as a store populated with subscription-based content, such as magazines and newspapers. But beyond being a hub, the rest is up to individual publishers. A few other companies noticed and jumped into the competition for providing magazines on screen.
Zinio is similar to Newsstand, but places all of the content inside one app instead a folder of separate apps. Users can purchase individual issues or subscribe to magazines from inside Zinio, which offers a clean and well-designed interface. Zinio is ideal if you have one or two specific magazines that you read, but if you want be able to access many more than it can quickly become pricey, just as subscribing to many different physical magazines would be.
NextIssue flips the subscription model on its head. Instead of subscribing to magazines, you subscribe to the Next Issue service as a whole, which provides unlimited access to any of the over 100 magazines it offers. Selection is a bit more limited, but there is plenty of content including world-class magazines, such as The New Yorker.
Comics really pop on the retina screen, and publishers have noticed. Marvel has an unlimited subscription service allowing you to read any and all of their comic books, past, present, and future. The integrated app puts that catalogue on your iPhone so you can read on the go. DC also has an app, but no connected subscription service, so you’ll need to purchase your comics separately.
There are newspaper apps, and then there are news aggregators. If you’re committed to a specific new service, the New York Times for example, you can download their app to access all of their content. Newspaper apps will often be listed in the Newsstand folder and store.
On the other hand, there are options if you like your news sources to be a bit more diverse. Popular aggregators like Flipboard combine stories from many news services to provide a customized, immersive experience. News 360 learn your preferences and curates a custom experience for you, as well as providing quick access to the same stories from other sources to ensure you get news from all angles.
Do you read iPhone books, magazines or comic books? Do you use your iPhone for your primary reading device? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.