iOS 5 is here -- well, maybe, if you managed to update your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch OK last night. With it comes Newsstand, which is the immovable folder thing on your homescreen that's soon to be filled with newspapers and mags.
Newsstand is meant to make magazine and newspaper consumption on iOS easier with auto-downloads, fancy covers and a nice analogue shelf for your collection. But what about the content? A pretty shelf-full of rubbish is still going to be trash.
In the UK we have a load of quality magazines, and thankfully they're starting to make the jump to digital publishing. So, let's have a look at some of the highlights of what's currently available for your reading pleasure in Newsstand for the iPad.
The Guardian is getting into Newsstand in a big way with a brand new app that comes packing 86 editions for free (from the time you start using the app) with iOS-only subscriptions costing £9.99 a month. It brings the paper that you know and love (or not) to the iPad, but in a very web-like way. Worth checking out if you're looking for a decent newspaper read on your iPad.
Yes, that bastion of quality news journalism that litters the London Underground every morning, the Metro, has made the leap to Newsstand (their free app has been available on the iPad for sometime now). It's pretty swipey, won't put ink all over your fingers and is free, so if you're looking for some lighter news reporting, check it out.
Wired's app has been on the iPad for a while now, but it's now migrated into Newsstand. With Wired you get a bit more of a multimedia experience as illustrated by the somewhat novel but immediately annoying James Dyson front cover animation. Thankfully after the first time these things can be skipped. The iPad edition brings all that you know and love from the paper edition and gives it a digital spin. Samples of each edition are also available, so you can try before you buy at £2.49 an issue.
Combining the best of tech with the odd scantily-clad woman... what's not to like about T3? The iPad edition has the cool design elements of a decent print gadget mag with the interactive and multimedia capabilities of the web. If you're after an iPad mag to keep you quizzed-in offline when you simply can't get to Giz UK, then the T3 iPad Edition isn't a bad substitute. The T3 iPad lads have just celebrated their first birthday, so they're currently offering the last 12 back-issues for £1.49 a pop, with the current edition at just £2.49 right now. All other issues will set you back three-quid going forward*.
The magazine for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch owners, Tap! gives you tips, tricks and a plethora of iOS related news and reviews. If you're a hard-core iOS user, Tap!'s for you. Single issues are £2.99 a pop, while subscriptions range from £24 for a year down to £8 for 3 months*.
If you're after the latest film reviews and insight into the biggest blockbusters and best arthouse films, Total Film magazine for the iPad should deliver that in spades. It's £2.99 per single issue, or subscriptions range from £8.99 for 3 months*.
Geeks and Sci-Fi often go hand in hand. If you're a fan of the Doctor, love yourself a bit of Battlestar Galactica or love the Star Trek revamp, then SFX might be right up your alley. It'll set you back the standard £2.99 per issue, or if you're so inclined, subscriptions start at £8.99 for 3 months*.
If you're a gadget geek like me, you probably get a kick out of the latest and greatest sports cars. Fast Car covers everything UK car related, featuring some of the most impressive machines to come equipped with tyres. £2.99 an issue with 3, 6 and 12-month subscriptions available*.
Yeah, if you're reading Giz UK you're probably a gamer. Whatever your platform of choice is there's probably an iPad magazine to sate you. Xbox World 360 is there for Xboxers, PSM3, has PS3 gamers covered, while PC Gamer caters for those with money-to-burn. A couple of cross-platform mags are also available including GamesMaster and Games, so if you're a jack of all trades there should be something for you there*.
Of course I've only scratched the surface of the number and depth of magazines available on the iPad, with some 215 available at last count. Some are universal, so you can get them on both your iPad and iPhone, but not all of them. It's a brave new world for the dying print publishing world, but so far it's not looking too shabby.
*Full disclosure: Giz UK is published by Future, which also publishes magazines. But that's OK -- today, 10 of the 20 most popular Newsstand titles are pubbed by Future. Forward thinking, you could say.