Back in June of this year Magzter launched its own digital newsstand in the vein of San Francisco-based Zinio. The NYC and India based company concentrates on the Indian publishing industry and in June released an iPad app, Magzter - Magazine store, which served as a newsstand for buying and reading the magazines Magzter represented.
But unlike Zinio, which has maintained a separate digital newsstand within the iOS sphere, Magzter has gone one step further by beginning to launch separate branded magazines apps for their customers that are Newsstand compliant.
To date Magzter has released 14 new branded magazine apps for its clients which includes such titles as India Today, Bike India, Car India, PC Quest and Business Today Magazine.
The 14 titles can be found in various categories such as Travel, Books, Business, News, Finance, Entertainment and Lifestyle. All of them, of course, can also be found in the Newsstand category. (duh)
The problem with these new apps remains that the apps present simple replica editions of the magazines, making the new apps an extension of the flipbooks found online and in the Magzter branded app.
The one magazine I looked at, Business Today, came with a six page preview which was slow to download. Once opened, while in landscape, the magazine could be read in two formats: ezRead and Classic. Classic is your standard replica edition with the pages reduced in size to fit the display, making them nearly impossible to read. ezRead simply blows up each page to fit the screen, hiding half the page. ezRead does make it a little easier to read.
In portrait only the one mode of reading is available or necessary as the digital pages more naturally fit the portrait dimensions.
Note: this brings the number of publications available inside the U.S. version of Newsstand to 343. By way of comparison, the French version (Kiosque) has only 209 publications, while the Italian version (Edicola) has 342 – why the major difference I do not know.
It should also be noted that there is a bug in the new version of iTunes which prevents customers from moving smoothly from one country's app store to another while still signed in. To surf around the various stores without crashing one should sign out of their accounts.