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How subscibers can get free access to SI on the iPad

This quick tutorial explains how current subscribers can get free access to Sports Illustrated on the iPad.

Time Inc. developed a tablet version of Sports Illustrated before Apple acknowledged the existence of the iPad, so it should come as no surprise that Sports Illustrated is one of the first magazines to allow current subscribers free access on the iPad. (The New Yorker is another.) Previously, to access a digital copy of SI on the iPad, you had to pay $4.99 per issue, whether you were a subscriber or not.

It's easy to link to your SI account on the iPad, and the app includes all the print material and more, with a redesign reportedly on the horizon that will make it even more compelling. Here's a quick tutorial on how SI subscribers can access the magazine on the iPad.

First, install the free Sports Illustrated Magazine app. Then open it and tap the Existing Print Subscriber button.

Tap the Existing Print Subscriber button to enter your account information. Matt Elliott/CNET

On the next page, enter your account number, zip code, and an e-mail address. You can get your account number from the mailing label of the magazine, and the sign-up page includes an image that helpfully shows you which digits compose the account number. Alternatively, you can enter your address information instead of your account number.

The app helpfully shows you where to find your 11-digit account number on your mailing label. Matt Elliott/CNET

Create a password and sign in. Tap on the Library button at the bottom of the screen and then choose an issue to download. The oldest issue available is the June 28, 2010 issue with a smirking Kobe Bryant on the cover. The iPad app also features a News & Scores section that includes recent articles from And according to Mashable, version 2.0 is expected in July that will update constantly with the latest news, rumors, blog posts, and Tweets from SI columnists and readers. It may be only a few more months that we refer to Sports Illustrated as a weekly.

After signing in, the buttons previously labeled Buy now read Download. Take your pick of SI issues dating back to June 28, 2010. Matt Elliott/CNET