Earlier this year, around the time I switched from an iPad 3 to an iPad Mini, I changed two of my magazine subscriptions—The Spectator and The New Yorker—from digital only to physical print versions. This was a big surprise to both me and those who know me. I’m a digital guy. I’ve happily embraced the electronic versions of books, newspapers and magazines from the outset, genuinely preferring them to their physical counterparts. But then something changed, and it’s taken switching from an iPad Mini to the iPad Air to realise what.
What I’m realising, in hindsight, is that when I changed from the iPad 3 to an iPad Mini, I stopped finding the reading of my magazines to be a truly great experience. At the time I made the switch to the Mini, I found myself browsing through the physical copies of my magazines in newsagents, increasingly jealous of that format. And before long, I changed my subscriptions from digital to physical. Having a physical copy of the magazines was a refreshing change—in the case of The Spectator there were whole sections of the magazine I hadn’t even fully appreciated were there.
But, just one week after having the iPad Air, I’m now back reading the magazines on the iPad. I’ve not fully decided if this is in part novelty, but it has caused me to reflect on the reasons for all this. For one, the iPad Mini didn’t have a retina display. It is only in being back with an iPad with a retina display that it’s becoming clear how much I did miss this. Text is so much clearer and crisper. And, inevitably, this crispness and clarity of text makes reading books, magazines and newspapers a whole lot more enjoyable.
Then there’s the size though. For some reason—and I’m really not sure why—the larger screen makes reading the magazines a much more enjoyable experience for me. Perhaps it’s because the apps were originally designed for the larger size and then scaled down for the Mini. But, whatever the cause, having my magazines on my retina screen Air is a whole lot more desirable. I’m choosing to read there rather than picking up the physical copies lying around my house.
I’ve not yet reach the point of cancelling the physical copies—as I say, there’s still scope for novelly factor, what with the Air being a recent purchase—but if my habits stay the same for the next few weeks, I think I will do.