In a bid to entice readers to check out magazines on the iPad, Apple(s AAPL) has added a new feature to iOS Newsstand: the ability to read some issues before they show up on a newsstand or arrive in the mailbox. As of Thursday there are 22 magazine titles available in the “Read them here first” page of Newsstand.
So far, the only publisher participating is Hearst. There’s no set standard for how early a look each Newsstand issue will offer, Hearst told AllThingsD. The same report notes that Apple suggested this feature to Hearst, which leaves the possibility open that other publishers will eventually sign on.
Newsstand doesn’t have the widest selection of titles, nor the best reading experience for reading magazine titles on iOS. But the option to read some titles early is a good way to differentiate Apple’s own offering from competitors like the Zinio and Kindle apps.