When NextIssue debuted earlier this year it seemed destined to become one of the most popular apps around. Unlike its competitor Zinio, the app offers users access to a large selection of popular magazines for one low monthly fee ($9.99 a month for the basic service, $15 if you want their weekly magazines as well). Sounds great, and it is-if you have an iPad. If you have an Android device, well…not so much. The Android app is a disaster. It crashes, freezes, downloads magazines filled with blank pages and for some reason, NextIssue didn’t make sure they were ready for Jelly Bean. Instead, the app simply isn’t available for JB devices at all. To add insult to injury, users of the iPad app get 72 popular magazines to chose from. Android users, get just 31. Despite this, NextIssue charges Android users the exact same monthly fees. That’s right, Android users get less content than iPad users but have to pay just as much. NextIssue is more or less apathetic about the issue, saying it’s beyond their control and blaming publishers for discriminating against Android in favor of iOS. That explanation doesn’t hold a lot of water for me though, since many of the magazines NextIssue says publishers just won’t make an Android version of are available to Android users through Google Magazines, Zinio, and the Nook and Kindle apps.
NextIssue keeps promising a huge update that will fix the broken app and make it Jelly Bean compatible, but don’t hold your breath. In July they said it would be out in August. In August, September. It’s heading toward November and the company simply says now that it’s coming “soon” and blames the constant delays on the fact they keep finding new bugs.
I will say their customer service is quite good. I’d hate to be one of their reps right now-if the increasingly angry and nasty reviews in the Google Play Store are any indication, they are getting an earful. Yet they are friendly and responsive and were quick to issue me a credit for my monthly fee when I couldn’t access my magazines. I’ve been nothing but impressed with their customer service.
If you have an iPad and love magazines, you need NextIssue. If you have an Android tablet, save your money until the update comes out. If they can keep their promises to get the app working and give Android users more content, it will be a must have app for Android loving magazine junkies. Right now though that’s a big if, and they have a lot of angry Android users to prove themselves too.