How to Read Newspapers and Magazines on Your iPad mini

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Although newspapers and magazines have seen a downturn in print media, you can use your iPad mini to catch up with your favorites. People in the newspaper business know that it’s been tough sledding in recent years. The Internet has proved to be a disruptive force in media, as it has in so many areas.

It remains to be seen what role Apple generally, and the iPad specifically, will play in the future of electronic periodicals or in helping to turn around sagging media enterprises. It’s also uncertain which pricing models will make the most sense from a business perspective.

What you need to know is that reading newspapers and magazines on the iPad mini is not like reading newspapers and magazines in any other electronic form. The experience is slick, but only you can decide whether it’s worth paying the tab (in the cases where you do have to pay).

You might follow two paths to subscribe to or read a single issue of a newspaper or magazine. The first path includes several fine publishing apps worth checking out, including USA TODAY (where Ed works), The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Reuters News Pro, BBC News, Vanity Fair, and Popular Science.

It’s also highly recommended that you fetch the free Zinio app, which offers more than 5,000 digital publications, including Rolling Stone, The Economist, Consumer Reports, Forbes, Macworld, Car and Driver, Maxim, National Geographic Interactive, Spin, and Bloomberg Businessweek. You can buy single issues of a magazine or subscribe, and you can sample and share some articles without a subscription.

In some cases, you have to pay handsomely or subscribe to some of these newspapers and magazines, which you find not in the iBooks Store but in the regular App Store. You also see ads (somebody has to pay the freight).

The second path is Newsstand. This handy icon on your Home screen purports to gather all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions in a single place. Newsstand is a special type of folder rather than an app.

You purchase subscriptions in a section of the App Store, which you can also get to by tapping Newsstand on your Home screen and then tapping the Store button, which opens the App Store to the Subscriptions section.

Numerous publications have adopted the Newsstand paradigm, though some choose custom apps or Zinio, and many do both.