Zinio iPhone app takes digital newsstands to the next level

Jan 20, 2010
Tech

Zinio, a provider of digital versions of thousands of books and magazines, is taking its online newsstand to the next level with its new Zinio iPhone app. To get started with Zinio, you’ll need to register for an account, or sync your existing account to the iPhone app, which is free. Your titles will appear […]

Zinio, a provider of digital versions of thousands of books and magazines, is taking its online newsstand to the next level with its new Zinio iPhone app.

To get started with Zinio, you’ll need to register for an account, or sync your existing account to the iPhone app, which is free. Your titles will appear for download (PC Magazine and VIVmag are available as free trials). To get more titles, hit “shop” to see the available newsstand. Selecting a title launches Zinio’s mobile Web site in Safari, where users can buy single issues or full subscriptions. I’d like to see Zinio implement in-app purchasing in the future, as it would just make more sense for an iPhone app like this.

Downloading is pretty slow over 3G, but once its finished, titles will be available for offline reading—handy when you’re stuck somewhere without service. Zinio’s UI has an eye-pleasing design and works extremely well. The iPhone app’s best innovation is its text optimization—when you get to an article you’re interested in reading, tap the icon that appears at bottom center. This re-flows the story into a re-sizable text-only mode that is much easier to read on the iPhone’s small screen. Pinch to zoom is still available for design purists, however. (Note: I never got the trial version of PC to zoom, but VIVmag worked with no issue.)

If you’re already a Zinio subscriber, you should definitely put the Zinio iPhone app on your to-download list. But, you don’t need to download it immediately, because currently there are only about 12 titles available for download to the iPhone (titles include Chicago magazine, PC MagazinePopular Science and Motor Trend.) However, Zinio is in the process of translating its library of titles, so keep an eye out for your favorites to come.

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