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!