Enjoy reading the latest from The Economist over a latte and a biscotti? Well, there’s an app for that.
On Friday, The Economist launched iPhone and iPad apps. Built by TigerSpike, which also built The Times’ Eureka iPad app, the apps contains all the content from the print magazine, in a UI that’s customized for iPhone and iPad.
Full access to The Economist on iPhone and iPad will be free for current print or online subscribers. If you are not a subscriber you can purchase a digital subscription ($110 a year) from within the app or subscribe online. New editions will be available to the digital apps by 4pm (U.S. East Coast) every Thursday. If you like to try things like this on before you buy, an “Editor’s highlights” selection of content is available for each issue.
The apps are fairly reserved, which is appropriate for The Economist. There is one feature that sparkles a bit in the apps – audio is provided for all the articles. A button at the top of the interface provides you with easy access to audio versions (read by professionals) of all the articles. So… instead of putting yourself to sleep reading The Economist, you can let the sweet lullabies of The Economist lull you into a slumber. Kidding.
The interface is clean, and easy to use – you won’t find yourself getting lost in these apps. Pages are flipped through (as opposed to scrolled through) and it’s easy enough to flip your way through a whole issue. Ads are included, but they don’t get in the way of the experience too much. All the illustrations from the print edition are included – unfortunately, you can’t do anything interesting with them – i.e., you can’t zoom in on a photograph.
The Economist is a great publication – one of the few news publications that can boast a growing subscription base – and they’ve produced equally great apps for the iPad and iPhone.