[Update] My experience with the Readly.com magazine subscription

Long-term test of Readly's magazine flat rate

I have the Readly service booked for almost two years and all this time have been meaning to write a little post about my experience with it. Somehow it didn't always "fit", but after Apple recently discontinued its service "News +” introduced what is basically Apple's magazine flat rate, I thought that now was the right time for my Readly experience report.

Note: This post appeared in April 2019 and was updated in September 2022.

Update September 2022: More magazines, more features and podcasts

More than three years ago I showed you that Readly offers a selection of over 3900 magazines. There are now more than 6000 magazines, journals and newspapers from dozens of countries that you (with the appropriate language skills) can browse through. Since both the current and past editions are available, an archive of more than 200.000 publications is available. These can be quickly explored using in-text search. To navigate better, there are different categories and the search function. The whole thing is now being expanded with individual feeds and curated articles. Despite the growing offer, the overview should not be lost.

The individual feed adapts to the users and suggests suitable content based on previous search and reading behavior. And that's not just for one person per subscription. Because this can be divided between up to five accounts. This is how the family can benefit from the Readly subscription. Thanks to the different accounts, everyone can manage their own digital magazines and get suggestions. In addition to the modern website, which makes reading on the computer and laptop easier, there are also well-designed apps for iOS, iPadOS and Android. Since June 2022, podcasts have been available with the Readly subscription in addition to digitized print media.

There was also a price adjustment at Readly. Instead of the previous 9,99 euros, you currently pay 11,99 euros for the magazine subscription.

Update end

Readly as a news + alternative for German customers

Like most Apple services, Apple's News + magazine flat rate will initially only be launched in the USA. There are around 300 magazines included, all of which are in English. The German Apple customers who would like to use the offer are excluded for the time being, as you can only order Apple News + with an American Apple account. The reasons for this are presumably due to restrictions imposed by the publishers who participate in News +. Negotiations with German publishers are certainly already in progress, but Apple's magazine flat rate is not currently available in Germany.

Until you can book News+ in Germany, the magazine flat rate is “readly” but definitely a recommendable alternative. Readly offers significantly more than Apple with its 300 magazines, because Readly currently has access to over 3.900 6.000 magazines – over 900 of which are in German.

At the moment, the question does not arise for German readers, but when Apple News + starts in Germany, the question arises whether one should book Readly or Apple News +.
Currently, the question does not arise for German readers, but when Apple News + starts in Germany, you have to decide whether you want to book Readly or Apple News +.

Price and notice period

An important point that I would like to mention right at the beginning is the price and the possibility of cancellation that comes with the Readly subscription. The cost is EUR 11,99 per month (as of 09/2022). This gives you an account at Readly.com with which you can create a total of five profiles. You can also use the app on a maximum of five devices. The first month is a test month in which Readly can be used to the full, but only pays 0,99 euros. You can book this one Trial month here at Readly.

It makes sense that the profiles are each assigned to a user, so that you do not have to share the personalized reading list, the selection of favorites and the bookmarks within the magazines you have read with other people. This way you can use Readly on different devices with the whole family or flat share and still each person has their own “space”.

You can always cancel at Readly in the account area. So there is no notice period.

Recommended reading: Understand AM and PM times correctly

With over 3900 magazines, Readly offers an extremely wide selection with its magazine flat rate (graphic: Readly).
With over 3900 magazines, Readly offers an extremely wide selection with its magazine flat rate (graphic: Readly).

Readly instead of magazine subscription?

A few years ago I subscribed to various magazines: Climbing, Mac Life, Outdoor, GeoLino and PM. Nevertheless, in the summer I always bought one or the other gardening magazine and maybe a hiking magazine or something similar. All in all, a lot of costs and stapling came together.

I then stumbled across an ad from Readly via the climbing magazine: “Over 3000 magazines for just under 10 euros a month! Try it out for 0,99 euros in the first month.” That sounded kind of like a bait and a case for the “too good to be true” drawer. Nevertheless, I was interested because I wanted to cancel the climbing magazine anyway. Due to lack of time, I rarely got around to reading it regularly.

So I registered with Readly without further ado and was surprised at how many magazines there actually were. The only restriction that was clear to me from the start: In future, you will look at magazines using an electronic device and you will no longer be able to leaf through a paper magazine.

However, since I like to research many different magazines for my articles, Readly offers me a wide field of activity, because in the “Computer & Technology” category alone there are over 120 magazines in German and almost 30 in English. Among the English ones is “MacWorld”, which I have read many times in the past and have now rediscovered.

Lots of choice - lots of cheese - lots of specialist magazines

If you look at Readly's selection of magazines, you quickly notice that, in addition to a few established magazines, there are also many niche trade magazines and lots of gossip magazines. Ultimately, there is only a small selection of magazines for the individual, which presumably addresses their areas of interest - but that is also the advantage of the flat rate: You don't pay more or less, no matter how much interests you personally from the overall offer.

Ultimately, however, I am really impressed by the variety of magazines that have dedicated themselves to certain niches. There are really very special things like ...

  • SchiffsModell: The magazine for ship model making
  • Märklin magazine (yes, I used to have one too!)
  • Rätsel-Prinz - Those who like riddles will get their money's worth! ;-)
  • Michael Rundschau - magazine for stamp collectors
  • DBZ - German Postage Stamp Newspaper
  • The whiskey ambassador - I like anyone who reads this!
  • Clarino - The specialist magazine for brass music
  • Kirmes & Park Revue - International trade magazine for leisure technology.
  • Tram magazine - Without comment ...

You can see: there is something for everyone here. But you could also say:

Lots of choice, but most of it is nothing for most!

That means: You have to come to terms with the fact that you end up choosing 5 to 10 magazines to read and ignoring the rest. Although I think with some titles that they sound so crazy that you have to take a look. Doesn't cost anything! : D

Unfortunately, you can also be unlucky under certain circumstances and the newspaper you are looking for is not there yet. For example, I searched for the “c't” but unfortunately only found the Dutch edition. I could have come to terms with English, but Dutch???

Unfortunately, the search for the magazine c't only brings the Dutch edition as a result.
Unfortunately, the search for the magazine c't only brings the Dutch edition as a result.

Recently also daily newspapers in Readly

Basically a nice trend if the choice wasn't so limited and limited. The first daily newspapers that have recently found their way into the Readly range are: Bild, Bild am Sonntag, BZ, B-Z. am Sonntag, Die Welt, Die Welt compact and Die Welt/kompakt am Sonntag. Not exactly what I would call sensible dailies but whatever - that was the start and I hope to see more newspapers coming soon to make the selection a little more 'diversified'.

Extremely practical: Readly's archive

A function that I work at readly I really appreciate the archive. When you have selected a magazine, you also get a list of the old issues from the archive - and that sometimes goes back many years. At Mac Life, for example, the first issue is 01/2014. That corresponds to a stack of magazines with easily 50 issues that you would otherwise have to fly around in your living room or office.

The archive of the journals goes back many years. At Mac Life, the first issue is 01/2014.
The archive of the journals goes back many years. At Mac Life, the first issue is 01/2014.

The search at Readly - good on the iPad!

The iPad is my favorite device to use Readly with. There is an app for this and you have significantly better search options than on the computer if you use the Readly Browser uses.

While there are unfortunately no filter options when searching in the browser, the search on the iPad can be heavily filtered:

  • Search for magazine titles only
  • Search the full text of all magazines
  • Search by country of the magazine
  • Filter search results by language
  • Narrowing the search to a specific journal and its issues in the archive

This way you get to your destination very well and you can easily find out about specific people, areas, cities, devices or product groups such as power banks, projectors or the like.

The filters can be used to limit the search to languages, publication areas or thematic categories.
The filters can be used to limit the search to languages, publication areas or thematic categories.

Presentation of the magazine with layout

If you have chosen a magazine and leafed through it, you will find a layout like the one in the print magazine. There is no function to reduce the text to a narrow column for an iPhone, which is why the iPad is the best choice in my opinion if you want to read something in Readly. You can either use the iPad in landscape format - then the double pages of the magazine are displayed - or you can hold it in portrait mode and see a page. The display adapts automatically when you turn the iPad.

In landscape format, the font is too small to read in the 100% display of a double page, but in portrait format it works quite well. I still enlarge the heels a bit, which works very comfortably with the usual finger gesture to enlarge everything.

The app also offers a special feature for enlarging sections: If you press an area of ​​the page with a finger and leave it there, the area is automatically enlarged until you lift your finger again. This makes it relatively easy to get an easily readable font size without having to work a lot with the actual zoom function.

If you tap on the display while reading a magazine, the user interface opens. Above you can add the magazine to your favorites, set a bookmark or open the sharesheet. In the lower area, all pages of the magazine are displayed as thumbnails. You can scroll through the issue quickly using the slider.
If you tap on the display while reading a magazine, the user interface opens. Above you can add the magazine to your favorites, set a bookmark or open the sharesheet. In the lower area, all pages of the magazine are displayed as thumbnails. You can scroll through the issue quickly using the slider.

More features of Readly

There are still some functions of readly, which I would like to briefly touch on here so that the already long article doesn't get out of hand:

  • Save the magazine as a favorite: The favorites can always be found using the favorites button. In addition, if you wish, you will receive an email notification when a new issue of a favorite magazine has gone online.
  • Set bookmark: This can be used to remember certain articles or pages in magazines. The bookmarks can be found via the “My Content” button.
  • Download magazine: For a longer stay offline, you can save some expenses on the iPad and look at them later without internet access.
  • Share page: Any page you are reading can be shared via the share sheet. Either by email, via AirDrop, save in photos, save in files, copy to the clipboard or print out directly.
  • Protection of minors: This allows profiles to be set as “youth profile” so that they only see a filtered selection of magazines. The adult profiles can also be secured with a PIN.
  • Crossword, Sudoku and other puzzles can be solved in Readly directly in the app: In a puzzle, you press a little longer on the place where you want to enter a letter or number and then the input request appears there.
Even crossword puzzles can be solved conveniently on the iPad in Radly.
Even crossword puzzles can be solved conveniently on the iPad in Radly.

Advantages and disadvantages of Readly

The Readly service is undoubtedly a very handy thing to do, but there are a few advantages and disadvantages that should be mentioned.

Advantages:

  • Availability of many magazines from all possible countries and in various languages.
  • Lots of niche magazines on offer that you probably wouldn't even get at the kiosk.
  • Space-saving: You always have a number of magazines and even old issues with you in an iPad.
  • Profiles for 5 people: everyone has their space, but on all devices running Readly. You don't have to take "your" iPad, you can simply select your profile in the Readly app of any iPad.
  • You can zoom in on photos in the magazines and see more details than in the printed version.
  • You also rummage through magazines that you would otherwise never buy and may discover new “treasures”.
  • Lots to do for puzzle lovers. You can solve many puzzles on vacation without a pen and there is even an extra area under “My content” that only shows the puzzles that have been started.
  • By searching on the iPad, reports on specific topics can be found very easily across all magazines and issues.
  • Less paper waste, because you don't always get new printing magazines that you have to dispose of at some point.
  • With screenshots or the share function, articles can be saved very quickly without having to use the camera to take pictures.
  • “Turning the page” doesn't make any noise and doesn't bother the person next to you in the bed.
  • Fixed cost structure for up to five users - no variable expenses, as you don't buy other magazines here and there.
  • The offline function allows the magazines to be downloaded.

Disadvantages:

  • You can't “browse through” it in an analogue way like you can in a printed edition of a magazine.
  • With the termination of Readly you lose all of your magazines and their issues.
  • What is not available in Readly, you have to buy or subscribe to at the kiosk. Some established magazines such as Stiftung Warentest, Geo, Stern, National Geographic, Focus or the Spiegel cannot be found on Readly.
  • Handwritten notes on the sides are not possible.
  • You cannot select or copy text.
  • The presentation does not adapt to a smartphone, so reading on an iPhone quickly degenerates into reading, scrolling, reading, scrolling, reading, scrolling and is not fun.
With the "Share" function and save in photos, a graphic consisting of the corresponding magazine page and the cover of the issue ends up in the photo library. The resolution is high enough to read the text.
With the "Share" function and save in photos, a graphic consisting of the corresponding magazine page and the cover of the issue ends up in the photo library. The resolution is high enough to read the text.

My conclusion on Readly

I've been with them for a good two years now readly and still subscribed to Mac Life as a print magazine: Why? Because I like to read this magazine on the sofa and want to do it after a day in front of the monitor without an iPad. When doing research, when I jump back and forth in many different magazines, I really enjoy reading on the iPad with Readly, because it gives you more flexibility. It's just fun to click through the computer or outdoor magazines and take a look here and there. If you do this at the kiosk, you will quickly be told that you are welcome to buy the magazine if you want to read it. : D

I really use Readly a lot. Not necessarily every day, but sometimes I spend two or three hours with the app looking for information about a specific device, topic or program together. The possibility to get magazines from the USA on the iPad with one tap is also very nice if you want to look outside the box in Germany.

I find the cost of just under 10 euros a month very reasonable, especially when you consider that you are actually “buying” magazines for 5 people.

Finally, the intuitive operation of the app is another factor that makes reading with Readly a pleasant pastime. The developers of the app did a really good job here. I can warmly recommend the app. In the first month you can try out the entire offer for only 99 cents and only after the time has expired the monthly subscription of 9,99 euros.

If you test Readly or you choose the over 3900 If you want to look at 6000 magazines, you can access the provider via this link:

» www.readly.com

Transparency notice

This article reflects my experience and personal opinion of the Readly service. I was not compensated or influenced by Readly, nor did I regularly pay for my account myself. The links to Readly that you find in the article are “affiliate links”. This means that if someone comes to Readly and subscribes, I get a month of Readly for free. But that was not the reason for the article, because I continue to pay for the service anyway because I find it really helpful.

 

 

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14 Responses to “[Update] My Experience with the Readly.com Magazine Plan”

  1. I think Readly is very good, ok the magazines are useless, but lots of magazines.

    For the adapted layout there is recently a yellow point with a list symbol under several articles, one click on it and the text is freely flowing adapted to the device. Very nice. A lot in there for a small price. Top!

    1. Hello Carlo! On which device do you have this point with a list symbol? I was just looking through a few magazines on the iPhone but couldn't find it... maybe they still need to set up this "reading mode" for all magazines? I'll keep an eye on it and see if I notice that too. That would of course be really handy for reading on the iPhone.

    1. Hi Sefan! Thanks for your hint! Today I had MacWorld open on the iPad and lo and behold: Below was this reading mode button - thick and orange. Hard to miss. :)

  2. At Readly I always had problems with scrolling. :-( In addition, the service was very slow there. That's why I chose YumpuNews. I can only recommend it!

    1. Hello Paul! I don't have any scrolling issues on any of my iPads, iPhones, or Macs, and I've found Readly to load quickly too. I checked out Yumpu anyway, but if I search "Mac Life" I find 2014 and 2016 editions? A lot of the other things I found are just as old. I'm sorry, but that doesn't tempt me to book the service. :D Either they have a terrible search or a miserable, outdated selection (for my taste).

        1. Hello Paul! Yes, now I can see all issues from 2020. But when I looked, there were actually some from 2014 to be seen. I don't know what went wrong. : D

  3. Hi, I have had a trial subscription since today, and there is C'T Photography in German and National Georafic and Geografic Spezial. I think the selection is great and I will keep it.

    1. Hello Diana! Nice that you like it. I've had mine for years and keep discovering new magazines. Sometimes to new hobbies that interest me. It's nice to have something like that.

  4. I've also been a Readly customer for several years and am still discovering new magazines. A huge time grave ;-)
    Worth mentioning in your update would be the fact that Readly just increased the price, 11,99 is the new 9,99.

    1. Hello Robert! Thank you for your hint. I added it directly in the update and corrected it below. I didn't notice the price increase, maybe because I booked it through the App Store and they can't just increase the price there.

  5. Sir Apfelpot seems to like Apple. REadly offers a lot more, but as soon as there is an Apple offer, everything else is just humbug.

    Sorry, but with the attitude I don't need to read reviews.

    1. Hello Dirk! I like to read and respond to criticism, but with your comment I just don't understand what the criticism is supposed to be. That I like Apple??? I mean, you ended up on a blog that's 90% about Apple stuff. What did you expect??? It's like reading the Bild newspaper and then complaining that the reports are so superficial... but as I said: Feel free to explain to me exactly what you mean, then I can say something about it. Maybe I'm just stuck on the hose...

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