I was enthusiastic about Readly, the all-you-can-read magazine streamer, when I reviewed it last month. Now, with more experience under my belt, I am totally hooked. Despite having favourited only six or seven publications out of the available 400, I am getting remarkable value for my £9.99 monthly subscription. I have gorged myself on most of the back issues (up to twelve months’ worth) on all my favourite titles, ranging from photography, to motoring, to hi-fi equipment and I am loving it. Some other titles, while not of primary interest, are also worth browsing. For instance, television listing magazines are not something I would ever consider buying. But when they come free there is no harm in taking a peek to find out what’s new.
My friend Paul Gauntlett suggested an alternative to Readly, Readr, and I have dutifully had a play. Some 10,000 magazines are listed including, as Paul points out, MacUser. The lack of useful computer titles is my only gripe with Readly. However, I found the user interface of Readr rather confusing and not as friendly as Readly. The service is a little cheaper ($9.99 instead of £9.99) and the cast of publications is different. But I see nothing to cause me to turn away from my first love, Readly. It is certainly worth investigating both options, particularly to look for your must-have titles, before parting with your cash.
When I reviewed the iPad app I confirmed that reading an A4-size publication even on an iPad mini is perfectly acceptable and, indeed, pleasurable. I still think so. On a four-hour flight from London to Athens this week I managed to catch up on the back issues of Amateur Photographer and Shutterbug among others. A big advantage of streaming services such sd Readly is that downloaded magazines stay on the device until deleted. You can carry around with you a gigantic stack of publications–just like you can carry your entire book library on a Kindle or iPad. Magazine heaven.