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Summary:

Zinio now supports Google Android handsets, bringing content from 1,000 digital magazine publishers to smartphones and small tablets running Android versions 2.2 and 2.3. A first look at the new software shows a positive experience, but it may be better suited to devices with larger screens.

zinio-for-android

On Friday Zinio added support for Google Android handsets, bringing content from more than 1,000 digital magazine publishers to smartphones and small tablets running Android versions 2.2 and 2.3, approximately 78 percent of all phones currently powered by Google. To help spur downloads, Zinio is offering free issues of 12 magazines through August 15: BlackBook, Bike, ESPN The Magazine, House Beautiful, Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, Maxim, Outdoor Photographer, Redbook, Robb Report, Seattle Met, Surfer, and Wine Enthusiast.

Although Zinio hasn’t mentioned this in their news release, I suspect more Android phones will come with the Zinio client pre-loaded. If you saw my video overview of the upcoming T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide, you may have noticed that Zinio was already on the phone, for example. Those types of pre-installation partnerships between Zinio and carriers are likely to help attract digital magazine readers, perhaps even more than having the free Zinio software available in the Android Market.

 

I did spend a few minutes with Zinio on the myTouch 4G slide this morning, though I think magazines are better suited for larger displays, such as my 7-inch Galaxy Tab or even bigger tablets. But I liked how Zinio detected that I was on a 3G network and told me that a Wi-Fi network would provide an optimal experience. You can start to browse magazine content within a minute or two of starting a magazine download, but the optimal experience won’t happen until the entire title is downloaded. Until the magazine completely loads high-quality page images, it can show some text fuzziness when zooming in. And on the 3.7-inch, 800×480 resolution display of the new myTouch phone, there’s plenty of zooming required.

I’ve been a paying customer of Zinio digital magazines for at least six years, so the flexibility to read occasional magazine content on an Android phone is welcome. Most of my reading will still be done on a larger screen, however; reading fixed-format digital content on the small screen of a smartphone will be a secondary activity for me, and likely for many others. But maybe I’m an outlier or not a good representative of the average digital magazine customer. If you’re reading magazines on Zinio — and you already can with an Apple iPhone, iPod touch or iPad — I’d be curious what device you use most to do so: a tablet, a computer or a smartphone?

  1. We publish an iPad magazine and have both iPad and iPhone versions. The iphone version is very much like what Zinio offers on smart phones… a scaled down version meant to capture mindshare/market share but we print in our mag that for optimal reading pleasure… please read it on an iPad.

    I would assume that those who have both phones and tablets would prefer to read magazine content on the tablet.

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  2. borax99 (Alain C.) Friday, July 15, 2011

    ??? I’ve been using Zinio on Froyo Galaxy tab since December last year, didn’t realize it wasn’t generally available. Works *very* well on a 7-inch screen, not so sure how well that will work on smaller screens.

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  3. I’ve been using Zinio on the Xoom and it is great. Just started using it on my Incredible and so far no issues. I installed it on the phone for the sole purpose as a back up to when I don’t have the Xoom around. Ideally, I’d like to see Google offer magazines so I only have to rely on one source but at least I have options and can purchase within the app.

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  4. I found myself standing at a Verizon store last night because of Zinio, Hulu and Netflix. My friend had had enough of waiting for these apps to show up for her Droid. We were there to get her a shiny new white iPhone 4 so she could go home that night and watch Hulu/Netflix and gorge on Shape magazine. When I reminded her to order the HDMI cable she went ballistic: I can read Shape magazine on my flat panel TV?!!? I had been thinking about her watching Hulu/Netflix but hey, we’re all different. Keeps life interesting right?

    I for one have been buying more magazines from Zinio lately as they’ve finally started standing up to Steve Jobs. It used to be they quaked in their boots at the mere thought of someone snitching them out to Steve: I saw a _nipple_ in the Maxim Russia edition in Zinio on my iPhone! I’m not kidding, I wrote in to ask them why I couldn’t download Maxim Russian edition to my iPad when Zinio mobile first came out.

    These days you can get your Low Rider Girls and check out the curves whilst killing time on the bus waiting for your personal muse to come back to you. and your Maxim Russia, India, Italy… the world of magazines at your finger tips nipples included.

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