I've been reading magazines on my iPad for months. I didn't need iOS 5 to do it. I keep these apps--The New Yorker, Wired--in a separate folder on my iPad, called Reading. With iOS 5, that's no longer the case. A new baked-in app (or, rather, a type of smart folder) called Newsstand has now absorbed these apps into an iBooks-like wooden bookshelf.
Newsstand was one of the iOS 5 features that I'd been long awaiting, because I dreamed it would be a way of integrating books, periodicals, and all reading material into one destination. Alas, that's not the case here. Instead of being slotted into iBooks, Newsstand is a separate app. This means two icons to manage instead of one.
Also, I hoped that Newsstand would become a digital way of discovering not just magazines, newspapers, and journals, but a means of browsing covers and headlines from current issues. I browse real newsstands on the corner of 28th and Park, or at a bookstore, and based on what I see, I actually might buy an issue. A football preview came out this month? A cover story on a dinosaur discovery? Sure, I'll bite.
Newsstand on the iPad does none of this.… Read more