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Google Play Magazines launched in the UK

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Google Play Magazines

The Google Play Magazines service has launched in the UK, offering Android and Chrome users the chance to browse and buy digital magazines direct from their devices.

Enabling users to buy and read digital magazines, from a number of publishers, the new Google Play Magazines service is partnered with the new Google Play Magazines app on compatible Android phones and tablets or the Chrome browser on laptops and desktop PCs.

You can look for titles on the Google Play Store from any web browser, or use the app to make purchases on the move.

At launch, the UK store has more than 100 magazines. Some offer subscription packages in monthly or annual payments, or you can buy single issues on a pay as you go basis.

There are also various 30-day free trials on offer for most of the magazines at the moment but you’ll need to sign up for a subscription to the relevant title beforehand and then cancel before the first month is up if you don’t want to commit to any payments.

You can browse by popularity or different categories, such as Arts & Photography, Automotive, Business & Finance, Entertainment, Health & Fitness, Home & Garden, Men’s Lifestyle, Science & Technology and Women’s Lifestyle.

There are are also sections for Google’s staff picks, new arrivals and personal recommendations, which will probably get more accurate as you buy titles.

The magazines join other sections on Google Play media store, such as e-books, music and movie downloads, Android apps and Google’s Nexus and Chromebook devices.

If you’ve tried out Google Play Magazines, let us know what you think on our on our Twitter and Facebook feeds or via the comments boxes below.

Disclosure: Trusted Reviews is owned by IPC Media, which is one of the publishers with titles on the Google Play Magazines store.

Bugblatter

December 15, 2012, 4:09 am

I had a look but they need free samples. I want to see if the reader's ok, and I'm not going to mess about with refunds.

I'll stick with Zinio for now; it doesn't have the greatest reader in the world but it does the job.

chaosdefinesorder

December 16, 2012, 11:25 pm

I've already taken the plunge on a couple of editions (Wired year subscription for £18 and Maximum PC year subscription for £8!) and it's really good. The "full glory" pages are decent resolution even when double-tap zoomed in, but the really fantastic bit is that there's an option labelled "View Text" which switched the mag to very well formatted text view that's great to read. What's more, the "view text" mode cuts out all the ridiculous ads and is continuous side-swiping between pages and articles like an ebook.

The latest update to the base Play Magazines program hints at future interactivity so it's going to be interesting to see what comes of that in the near future...

chaosdefinesorder

December 16, 2012, 11:28 pm

oh, also, if you want to try a magazine for free to see what the format itself is like, search for a title of "Shortlist". Both the current issue and the year's subscription is (perhaps currently) completely free...

Bugblatter

December 17, 2012, 12:07 am

Thanks for the tip; I've had a look at 'Shortlist'. Very similar to the Zinio reader, although there are a few significant differences (e.g. you can swipe to another page even if you're zoomed in. With Zinio you have to zoom out fully first).

Zinio has the text feature too by the way. I don't tend to use it on the tablet but on the phone it can be handy for text-heavy pages.

After I subscribed to T3 on Zinio a while back I heard that they have an interactive verson on Play, and I was a bit gutted. Bit less gutted when I saw the user reviews were very poor though. Interactive magazines are the future, but they have to learn how to do them well so that it's a new medium and not just a gimmick for the old one.

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