Poll: Are you using Newsstand?

Newsstand isn't iBooks for magazines or newspapers, but it is a centralized place to put all the magazine and newspaper apps for your iPhone and iPad, and a quick way to get to the Newsstand optimized section of the App Store. A few publishers have said that alone has substantially increased their revenue, but what has it done for us users?

It lets us more nicely organize those newspaper and magazine apps, and we get to see front page or cover art rather than the app icon, but the apps themselves are still a crapshoot when it comes to quality and design. iBooks are pretty unified -- I buy a book and I know how to navigate through it and easily read it, and I know if I put it down on my iPad when I leave home, I can open it up and keep going from the same place when I open it again on my iPhone at work. If I want to read my Trashy Gossip Mag, no such luck.

With Newsstand we sometimes get straight exports from the magazine or newspaper themselves, almost like PDF printouts, ads and all, with littl in the way of iOS specific features and nothing that takes advantage of the technology literally at our fingertips. Other times we get more immersive experiences with sound, movies, and easy sharing if we so choose.

And the subscription options are all over the place, but mostly they still don't match up with traditional options. Why can't we, universally, buy an issue for the same or cheaper cover price, or subscribe for the same or cheaper yearly option? If I can get one issue of Trashy Gossip Mag for $5 and 12 for $20, shouldn't we have the same option on iPad?

Should Apple create a proper iNews apps like iBooks with standardized pricing and presentation? Should they go back to just apps, on their own? Or is Newsstand the answer?

Vote in the poll up top and let me know where you stand on everything from pricing to ads to the quality of the content itself in comments!

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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Reader comments

Poll: Are you using Newsstand?

60 Comments

I don't use it because I don't have any newsstand apps. If I had an iPad it might be different, but I don't read news on my phone and I don't subscribe to on going charge services, so newsstand has no place for me yet.

i dont even use news stand i thought that was only available for ipads i cant even put the news stand app in a folder its just an eye soar where it is

I love Newsstand on the iPad in theory. And for the few magazines I subscribe to digitally, when I want to read it, I'm relieved to find it already downloaded so I don't have to waste time on that. But right magazines are a mishmosh. Some of my digital subscriptions use Newsstand, and some don't, so I still have a separate folder for those other magazines. I wish I could at least put them all in one folder so it doesn't take up two icons.
On the iPhone, it's just silly. I have exactly one app in the Newsstand, the NY Times, so the fact that it lives there means I have to go through an extra tap to access it.

I love Newsstand on the iPad in theory. And for the few magazines I subscribe to digitally, when I want to read it, I'm relieved to find it already downloaded so I don't have to waste time on that. But right magazines are a mishmosh. Some of my digital subscriptions use Newsstand, and some don't, so I still have a separate folder for those other magazines. I wish I could at least put them all in one folder so it doesn't take up two icons.
On the iPhone, it's just silly. I have exactly one app in the Newsstand, the NY Times, so the fact that it lives there means I have to go through an extra tap to access it.

Why does the "no" option have to mean that it's horrible? No, I don't use newsstand... so I wouldn't know if it's horrible.

Exactly the same thought I had. No, but just because I don't subscribe to digital media on my phone.

Newsstand = Ping. It's just another horribly annoying idea Apple is trying to force on us–can't even hide the icon. It should be an optional download like iBooks, and I'd bet a lot more people use iBooks than will ever use Newsstand.

Newsstand = Ping. It's just another horribly annoying idea Apple is trying to force on us–can't even hide the icon. It should be an optional download like iBooks, and I'd bet a lot more people use iBooks than will ever use Newsstand.

It's another attempt to rescue magazines, which have been sentenced to obsolescence with the advent of the internet. I used to like magazines when I could not get fresh information all the time.
Magazine publishers need to reinvent their product, and not just find new ways for us to buy crystallized content. Every journalist should write their stories on a Storify-type system, and magazines should organize that content and charge for the content and the organization. It's not that hard, c'mon.

No, I don't use Newsstand. It frustrates the everloving crap out of me that I cannot put the icon in a folder. I keep all the standard apps that I never use in a folder, EXCEPT this one... lame.

You can't put folders inside of folders. That's what newsstand is...a folder........

I don't see why you've attached "it's horrible" to "no".
I don't think it's a horrible idea for newspaper and magazine apps, I just don't have any use for newspaper and magazine apps since I get the paper at work and magazines are no longer worth reading.
Do I use it? No. Do I think it's horrible? That seems a little severe.

I'd possibly use it if there were some totally free magazines or digital issues were much cheaper.
It is very annoying that you can't hide or delete the Newstand icon. I did the trick to hide it but it came back!

I'm not sure that this is the right question. I think the question should be to magazine publishers. Why aren't they all using Newstand? Do they feel they need to have their own app icon on my iPad? Should Apple force all magazine apps to launch through Newstand?
I do not think Apple should enforce a cohesive look and feel for the magazine apps but maybe some standards like Xbox did with xbox live games when they started that service. I don't mind that when I select a magazine it launches their app. I like that they have the freedom to be creative. Wired magazine is great and I actually prefer reading it on the iPad now.
As far as my usage, I love having all of my magazines in a central location. I did that before iOS5 using a folder. Newstand gives me the extra benefit of being able to see the latest issue and having that issue pushed.

Learn how to write survey options, please... Are you trying to collect data, such as how much we use the app, or show that you can append cutesy comments to the choices. I may use it (Yes!) but think it's horrible that the icon can be in a folder, or (No!) never use it simply because there is no content that appeals to me. Don't mix factu and subjective

You can download Mazazines online in PDF or free then read them in iBooks. That's what I do.
I'm subscribing to all these magazines to make my newsstand look pretty.

Wow, lots of surprising negativity! I subscribe to Spin, as well as Wired mag, which recently made the digital copy free with the regular paper subscription. Both these mags offer a lot of extra media in their digital form (Wired includes videos, etc.; Spin includes a streamable playlist of featured new artists).
In my opinion, it adds to the experience of reading magazines.

That's the thing... if publishers would let you have the digital edition free with a paper subscription it would get more people using newsstand but as others have said why read a magazine with old outdated info when the current info is online?

That's the thing... if publishers would let you have the digital edition free with a paper subscription it would get more people using newsstand but as others have said why read a magazine with old outdated info when the current info is online?

It's annoying. My NYT app updates at about 3:30AM. Before I leave for work at 6:30, I manually update the app. A lot of new content is published during those three hours. I wish Newstand had a setting so you could control what time it retrieves new issues.

HERE'S THE DEAL! You can download Magazines for FREE online in PDF form and read them in iBooks...
I have National Geographic, Popular Science, Car&Driver, SkyNews, and even Playboy....
Why subscribe to mags on Newsstand? To make your shelf look "pretty"?
Try my iBooks idea, it's really awesome.

As far as I know, none of these companies give away their content in PDF.
Are you sure that when you said "download Magazines" you didn't mean "steal Magazines"?

Don't use it, or iBooks. I prefer to subscribe to mags and read books on amazon or through the B & N app. That way my content is available on all my devices (computers, tablets, phones) and I can change at will.

I have subscriptions to about a dozen print mags. I love the idea of getting rid of all that paper -- and paper cuts -- by reading on iPad. However, until pricing is brought more in line with print subscriptions, I'll wait it out. As an example, I offer you "Wired." I can subscribe to print edition for $10 to $12/year -- and get the iPad edition as an extra added free bonus. Or, I can subscribe only to iPad edition for $20. No thanks. I'll not be renewing until I can get iPad edition for $10 to $12/year, without having to take delivery of paper.

Since none of the magazines I'd be interested in even come in an iPhone version, no. It needs to be folderable too. Without crashing my phone.

Why would I use Newsstand? News is free and ubiquitous, and I don't read many magazines (because I don't have time).

Why would I use Newsstand? News is free and ubiquitous, and I don't read many magazines (because I don't have time).

They need to have the dc comics and marvel make issues for news stand instead of having a separate app for comic books and just unify it all in newstand

I am planning on renewing my subscription of Esquire this time for the ipad instead of the paper periodical. Too bad they only offer one or the other unlike the other magazines. I would also like it better if there was syncing like iBooks. I want to say read an article in the New Yorker and then open to the same page on my iPhone if need be. One subscription that covers all of my devices.

To put it simply, there is no Australian content whatsoever for the iPhone version of Newsstand. It's just like the iBookstore was in Australia when it was first released, covered in cobwebs!

Ive been using Zinio since 2003. Previous to iPad I read my digital mags on a windows tablet. No way will I switch since my archive is on zinio. Apple was way too late to the game on this one. I just zinio had Vanity Fair.

I would use it if the per issue or yearly subscription prices were more reasonable. Publishers just aren't going to get any money from me at the prices they're asking.

Funnily enough, Volkswagen Das.
A bloody awesome FREE monthly magazine that is well designed and that I enjoy reading on my free time DOES NOT make it into Newstand.... so I guess I don't use it until you can drag your mags into the app without having it be pre-defined by Apple.

Not only do I hate newsstand but am really annoyed that an app, I bought, the Daily, can not be removed from it. I don't see it any more so I forget to look at it. The cost of the app is not insignificant and now I fail to use it. MAJOR fail with newsstand!!!

The selection is horrible for iPhone, I love newsstand but there's way better mags for iPad. When are better magazines coming out?

What a pita! An inconvenience for the user but who cares, apple can drive new revenues from publishers " clamoring " to get on board. But wait, there is nothing to read there but the NYT. And I wAs perfectly happy just opening that app just 1 time to read. Now I am forced to open 2 apps to reD

i would not care about newsstand any more than most others here, and just ignore it. what really irks me though is that when I open a magazine, the newsstand also pops up in the list of active applications, which is just clutter, it has no function itself. so... i dislike.

Here's my issue..
It's RIDICULOUS to FORCE the use of Newstand. Case-in-point, with the NYT I try to read it everyday. When the NYT app sat on the screen it was simple, and easy to read with ONE CLICK, but since it's been forced under Newstand, I now have to click twice-as-much to bring-up NYT. Like most developers, I'm lazy.. so I end-up not reading it at all.
I switched to just creating a link to NYT on my screen.. Why make people work more?