I will finally cancel my print magazine subscriptions when Apple releases a 12.9" iPad

With word surfacing today that Apple may release a 12.9" version of the iPad in 2015, I'd be adding something stiffer than cream to my morning cup of jo if I were an executive on the print side of the magazine industry. Digital media has been attacking print for a long time now and it's a trend that is only going to continue. I believe a 12.9" iPad Pro would steepen the degree of that decline. At the least, I know it will impact my print magazine consumption.

A bigger iPad is something I've wanted for years now for one primary reason, and you're looking at it in the image above. I love magazines. Always have. Assuming they continue to exist, I think I always will. Between my interests in business, fitness, fashion and a few hobbies (watches, F1 racing, R/C stuff, etc.), I have 15 print magazine subscriptions going this year. That adds up to a big pile of paper - one that I could eliminate if I went all digital with my magazine consumption.

When it comes to books, I've been fully digital for years now. I typically buy books through Amazon and read via the Kindle app. Books and Magazines are very different though. When I read a book, I'm consuming text. I'm reading a story. I'm going cover to cover and the enjoyment and/or utility I get from the content is based on the quality of the writing itself — not its presentation.

Reading a magazine is much more experiential. The visuals matter. The presentation matters. And yes, the SIZE matters. I want my eyeballs to be assaulted by brilliant photography, funky layouts and beautiful ads (I love looking at magazine ads). Today's iPad can do that and more — especially with its glorious retina display — but it can't yet do it magazine BIG. Over the years I have read a lot of magazine content on my iPad and I even keep a subscription to Next Issue — the equivalent to Netflix for magazines — but the experience to date hasn't brought me the same level of enjoyment that I get out of a print magazine to make me cancel my hard copies. The visual impact of turning a magazine page on today's iPad just doesn't compare to that of flipping a page a print magazine. Yet.

In reality, the only thing keeping my print magazine subscriptions alive today is the limiting size of the iPad. Other than the iPad being physically smaller than print magazines, in almost every other way the iPad already beats print for magazine consumption (there is and always will be something to be said about being able to read a print magazine when the batteries on your iPad are dead).

I love that digital magazines can provide bonus content like additional photo galleries and videos that you just can't put into print. I love that I can zoom in on photos to see minute detail. I love that when I come across something of interest in a digital magazine, that I can immediately tap to go elsewhere on the web and learn more or buy an item. I love that I can have every magazine on one device and take it with me everywhere I go. I love that I can read magazines on my iPad in public with a fair degree of privacy — I'm geeky enough as it is that I don't need people to see the latest issue of Radio Control Car Action in my hand to remove all doubt. I also love that I can read a magazine on my iPad in bed in complete silence with the bedroom lights off so I don't disturb my better half who is sleeping. I'm pretty sure chopping down less trees to turn into magazines is good for the environment as well.

The bottom line for me? Magazine reading alone is reason enough for me to buy a 12.9" iPad the day Apple releases it. And that's only one example of where and why a bigger iPad makes sense. I'm curious to know where you'd put your bigger iPad to best use. Let me know in the comments!

29 Comments
  • I am in general agreement. IF I had a 12.9 iPad I would probably do the same. Though my wife would probably still want the print. I do entertainment weekly and Sound and Vision on my iPad mini and it works (sometimes with some zooming). But it would be even better on the bigger ipad. Would apple ever come out with a "tri-fold" ipad???? ;)
  • I agree with you I would buy one in a second. It would also be great at consuming websites and everything else. Take my money!!!!
  • In my household, we have cancelled ALL paper magazine subscriptions several years ago. I even read magazines with my iPad Mini (non-retina). Next Issue and Zinio all the way!!!
  • Now that I have an iPhone 6 Plus (Pro), having an iPad Mini doesn't make sense to me.. Even a 10" iPad.. I'll be much more likely to want the 12.9" iPad Pro. Will see what happens this Oct even.. but I'll likely hold off my purchase for a little while to see what the 12.9" has to offer.. I'm honestly hoping it's a hybrid device with a twist I'm hoping only Apple can offer in the market of hybrid laptops.
  • I completely agree with your sentiment sir. Now that I have an iPhone 6+. I really don't use my iPad Air much at all. I hear that the new iPad Pro will be a "hybrid" being more of a iPad, plus a MacBook Air. Somewhat like the Microsoft surface. If what they release is anything like that. I'll definitely be onboard. Sent from the iMore App
  • Yeah, it makes me wonder with the spiraling rumors of a new Retina Mac Book Air size that happens to be in the 12" range and and iPad in that same range. Time will tell I guess. I honestly don't see them going with a hybrid OS right now but who knows. Maybe we get both!
  • I quit trying to do magazines on my iPad when I kept running out of storage space... was too frustrating.
  • For me it was I had to keep entering names, passwords, or subscription number.
  • Three words: music stand replacement. Many have already taken the original-size iPad and have used third-party stand mounts to create a digital music stand. You can turn the page by swipe or (even better) bluetooth foot switch. The biggest problem with the current size is that much less music is available on a page at a time. If you are scanning existing music (rather than entering it in a notation app), it can be hard to read (although the Retina models improved that a lot). If you use a notation app to generate the pages, you are flipping pages far more frequently than you ever would with paper. Full scores (for conductors) are difficult at best. I don't think Apple will be releasing a 15" iPad any time soon (which is what you would need to replicate the standard 9" x 12" music sheet at 1:1 scale), but if they maintain the 4:3 aspect ratio (which is in no way a given) with a new 12.9" model, we get something that is 86% of the size of that sheet (or 88% of A4 or 91% of U.S. Letter). That becomes far more useable. For reference, the current iPad Air is about 65% of the size of a music sheet. Said another way, the longest (viewable) dimension of the current iPad Air would be the shortest dimension of a 4:3 12.9" iPad Plus/Pro/Whatever. I held out replacing my 1st Generation iPad waiting for such a beast. I ended up buying an Air because my iPad was stolen, but I would look very seriously at buying a 12.9" iPad and selling my Air.
  • I am totally with you! I've siphoned much of my sheet music into the wonderful ForScore app, on the iPad Air. Even having done that, though, I still find myself using paper sheet music most of the time - the iPad display is just too small for my aging eyes...
  • Magazines yes, Vanity Fair. Even more important for me is to review and mark up PDFs with a stylus. I used to print our reports before they go to clients and write comments on them now I do it on iPad and can't wait to get the full A4 For the more detail minded readers size of A4 diagonally is 13.9 inch but i dont think 1 inch will make a lot of difference;) Will wait for ipad pro for sure to replace my ipad 3.
  • Won't be going digital with my mags until they allow you to keep articles (and provide a method of indexing these for later retrieval) and delete the rest of the mag, just like I do with the paper versions.
  • If i got one I'd be for Comic books. But it'd have to come with some kinda wacom stylus. Otherwise what's the point?
  • Great article I love seeing points of views about subjects that I never thought about. It gives me something to think about. Keep up this great work. This is the kind of article I like to read about speculated products. This is way better than discussing if it will have 1 or 2 gigs of ram and such. Sent from the iMore App
  • How can you cancel your subscription to Vogue?!
  • Well... maybe that one I'll keep ;)
  • I have a Mini Retina and my subscriptions work great on it. (Entertainment Weekly, Wired, Vanity Fair and Esquire)..... I am furious at Rolling Stone for keeping the print subscribers(me) from getting the digital version... They have it as a seperate subscription.
  • For me I like having the physical content of holding it in my hand. Like digital, but still prefer print
  • Does it really matter? My iPad mini is a perfect size for anything not once have I thought "man my iPad should be bigger" the idea of u needing a bigger iPad just to read magazines is redicilous I read all my game informers on my iPad mini just fine. (Little man complex?) Sent from the iMore App
  • That's smart! You can buy $900 tablet to totally replace your $7 subscription to GQ!
  • Every single magazine I've subscribed to over the last decade has now stopped publishing a print edition. MacWorld is the latest, but it's just one in a long line. So for me this is a non-issue. I can't really see any other compelling justification for getting a larger iPad for personal use. Even the iPad Air is on the big side for much of what I do with it. It seems to me that a 12.9" iPad is a product that would fit better in business and educational settings.
  • How'd you write this article without mentioning that Apple just acquired Prss a company that makes iPad publishing slick and modern? I can see many uses for a 12.9 inch iPad and Magazines are certainly one. They need to tame the magazine bloat though.
  • Apple newsstand subscriptions are horribly flawed. I remember I subscribed to vibe and three months passed and I received not one new issue. I complained to Apple and they told me to complain to the magazine. I went to them and because I purchased thru iTunes they were unable to locate and eventually help me. Lesson learned. No more newsstand subscriptions.
    Apple is bringing out so many products and services sometimes I wonder if they can maintain and service them all. There's been many customer complaints on various products and services.
  • And for those of us in the business world who use spreadsheets a lot, we also will finally get our wish. The larger iPad is going to be a godsend in the enterprise market.
  • I would buy it just to show it off.
    And the magazine reason too.
  • I cancelled my magazines a decade ago.
  • I have been waiting for a 12.9", or, "iPad Pro", for a very long time, and would snatch one up in a heartbeat. Everything I love about my iPad Air would simply be enhanced and made better on a grander scale. Movies, video, everything basically, for me, would be more enjoyable. I'm hopeful they will release one, and soon, and really hope they make it with top notch specs, a true "Pro" version. Also, my 90 year old Mother goes nowhere without her iPad Air, and the movies she enjoys on it daily would be fantastic with a 12.9" screen! Maybe with stereo speakers??? : )
  • I've been reading digital magazines on Zinio since the first iPad was released. I don't understand why you think that a bigger iPad will make a difference....
  • I thought I wanted on as well and got the Samsung 12+ tablet and those things get heavy fast. I sent it back and went back to my iPad3.