Sunday, February 07, 2021

Readly for digital magazines in Australia - a review

Readly in browser
Readly is a subscription service that gives you access to a large collection of magazines and some newspapers from around the world.

It works well in the browser and there are apps for iOS and Android (including Amazon Fire).

Magazine pages scroll sideways. In the browser arrow keys didn’t always work for me although they do work if you zoom to full screen.

Text and image quality is good. I have to say that retina screen iPads make magazines look fantastic. This is what the iPad is surely for.

The first magazine recommended to me, based on no usage, is Maxim which was a bit of an odd choice. You do get to choose a bunch of topics of interest to help the algorithm along.

Navigation in the app is logical and the hierarchy of content makes sense.

Content topics are: Aeroplanes & Transport, Animals & Equestrian, Art & Culture, Boats & Watersports, Business & Finance, Cars & Motoring, Celebrity & Entertainment, Comics, Craft & DIY, Crosswords & Sudoku, Education & Tutorials, Family & Parenting, Fashion & Beauty, Food & Drink, Gaming, Gardening, Health & Wellness, History, Hobbies & Collecting, Home & Renovation, Hunting & Fishing, Interior Design & Architecture, Kids, Lifestyle, Luxury, Music, News & Politics, Photography, Running,  Cycling & Fitness, Science, Sport, Tech, Teen & Young Adult, Travel & Regional, TV,  Film & Cinema, Wedding.

Readly remembers what you’ve read and you can “favourite” publications and bookmark pages.

I was excited to see a large number of Linux magazines but then noticed that many were not in English - I think it might be better to now show magazines in other languages unless the user asks. (There is a language selector that can do this but it defaults to all rather than detecting the browser language). Readly mingles magazines in different languages together which Apple News+ does not.

In Australia, Readly costs AU$10 a month.

Competitors include Apple News+ which is AU$15 a month but includes newspapers including The Australian and the Wall Street Journal. Apple News+ also includes some “higher end” magazines such as National Geographic, Scientific American which are missing from Readly.

Another major competitor, also more expensive, is Kindle Unlimited which is AU$14 a month but seems focussed on print and audio books with some magazines. It seems like the selection of magazines on Kindle Unlimited changes each month.

Readly is a great way to read a selection of popular magazines, it’s slightly cheaper than the competing options and worth a try as a first experience of consuming digital magazines.

My thanks to Readly for giving me a free trial to take a look. 

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