Newsstand sucks. Ever since it launched I’ve hardly ever heard a nice thing said about it. The vast majority of users seem to want nothing more than to hide the icon for it and forget it exists.
The thing is, I think the concept of Newsstand is a good one – it has just been very poorly executed by Apple so far. The idea of having a special area for all your favorite iPad newspaper and magazine titles, and a single easy place to find all those titles, is a good one. Here are my quick suggestions for how to improve it:
— Make it part of iBooks. We already have an Apple eBook reader and eBook store app – why not use it to house iPad newspapers and magazines as well, just like many brick and mortar bookstores do? Create a dedicated section of iBooks for newspaper and magazine titles. We already have an area for our PDF collections – it seems easy enough to add an area for Newsstand.
Four more major magazine titles have started offering subscriptions for their iPad editions this week: Vanity Fair, Glamour, Allure, and Golf Digest. As first rumored a couple of weeks back, these Conde Nast titles have got some attractive subscription pricing levels as well.
Each of them will offer plans at $1.99 per month and $19.99 per year. Current print subscribers will get the first digital edition free.
Finally the pace of iPad titles offering subscription plans is starting to really pick up. Although none of these titles are ones that interest me, it’s still great to see this happening, and of course to see some reasonable rates on the subscription plans as well. Apple seems quite happy with this trend too – as they’ve been showcasing nearly all the new magazine titles that offer subscriptions in the App Store’s Featured section.
Here’s hoping a few of the big newspaper titles start jumping on the iPad subscriptions bandwagon soon.