National Geographic Interactive for iPad vs. Zinio’s National Geographic Interactive
A Side by Side Comparison
National Geographic for iPad is one of the best major magazines to bring an interactive version to the iTunes App Store with an iPad app of their own. Or are they?
I know I have had an app with their logo on my iPad for a while now. But that one was powered by Zinio, and it seems to have been discontinued, at least in the US and Canadian App Stores.
If you have the old app, or you use Zinio to deliver other magazines, you can still get National Geographic Interactive, but now you can get the classic yet fresh content direct from the source.
The question is, why would you?
I already buy almost every issue and was excited to see this app. I was more than willing to switch to get even an even better version of the already amazing magazine. If you already have a subscription via Zinio it DOES NOT carry over. Just a word of caution.
Note: From here on down pictures on the left are from the National Geographic Society app and on the Right are pics from the Zinio app unless otherwise indicated.
But when I downloaded the free February edition I was disappointed.
You get very the same interactive magazine features in both apps, (or so it seems, but I am comparing January’s Issue on Zino-powered App to February’s give-away from the new app) not more as I had hoped.
You can scroll through the magazine by tapping the screen and using the scrollbar on the bottom, and you can access your library and the ‘store’ but there is no pinch-to-zoom on all pages, (what a waste with such gorgeous photographs) no interactive table of contents, no text boxes or sharing that I saw, and little else to make me prefer it to Zinio’s interface. (p.s. sorry for the over-abundance of screenshots, but how do you pick?)
I want to zoom in on both pages (above) but can only do so with the Zinio App (below)
Also throughout the free February issue there is printed the word ‘more’ with an arrow. If you are accustomed to reading your interactive magazines on your iDevice, you will naturally want to tap it to see, well, more.
Certain articles offer you the option to see the text only, the app brings up a nice textbox in which you adjust the font size and share the article, features National Geographic’s app should have, but doesn’t.
One feature I found in the Zinio App that wasn’t in the N.G.S. App were these amazing little 3-d videos. This is the second time I have ever used video, so forgive any quality issues, they are mine, not the magazine’s. Check it out, it’s so cool!
One has to assume that National Geographic wants to be the sole (primary?) distributor of their content on iPad instead of sharing the pie, but until they beef up their app I hope they don’t pull out of their distribution deal with Zinio.
If you don’t have the old Zinio National Geographic app I suggest you get their main app and get your National Geographic fix there. The experience is more enjoyable and you can build a library of dozens of different magazines.
It is going to take a big update and a fresh issue bursting with exclusive features before National Geographic Magazine By the National Geographic Society is worth having as a stand-alone app.
Rating: National Geographic for ipad from the national Geographic Society 2.75 Stars
Rating: The Zinio Version of National Geographic Interactive 4.5 Stars
Whatever app you view it from, or whether you still prefer the physical issues with those great map inserts, national Geographic is still a world-class magazine that will open up your world, and has been sine 1888! Get it and enjoy your read.
See you tomorrow with all new content!