Texture, formerly known as Next Issue is an unlimited magazine subscription service that is available in the Canada and the United States. One of the big updates to this app are featured stories on the main page and all of the categories. You can read the cover story or one of the big features without having to download the magazine, this is useful if only a single article is all you want to read.
I think Textures biggest strength is their catalog of content. They have everything you would find you local Chapters/Indigo or grocery store. You can easily read the latest issue of Wired, Entrepreneur, PC Gamer, Forbes, Consumer Reports, Car and Driver, and hundreds more. What I like about Texture is that they focus on content that matches the sensibilities of their target demographic. Competing companies such as Magzter and PressReader have often been accused about having too much international content and not enough mainstream magazines.
If you have just signed up for Texture like I have, for the purpose of this review, I really like being able to download past issues. You can click on the name of the magazine and look at content years prior. For example, I am a big fan of Entrepreneur and back issues date to May of 2013.
Next Issue is optimized for the iPhone and iPad. When you read magazines on the iPad you really get the full HD experience. Magazines look utterly brilliant, especially some of the advertisements. Whatever you are reading is very easy to read with the default level of zoom, but if it isn’t you can single tap the screen and zoom into something a bit more readable. You can also read magazines by swiping downwards, like you would a news feed, but you can also swipe from left to right too.
There are some drawbacks with this app. You cannot download multiple magazines at once, you need to download and wait until its done before you start downloading another issue. Texture allows you to read a magazine as you are downloading it, but each page renders slowly. So if you flip a few pages it gets all pixelated and slowly renders.
A basic level subscription to Texture is $9.99 per month and you get access to all of the monthly magazines. They also have an elevated tier of $12.99 per month, and you get access to all of the monthlies in addition to the weeklies.
I think Next Issue is likely the best option to read unlimited magazines in North America. Their content library is unsurpassed in the industry and the revised app appeals to the casual and voracious reader. If you tend to buy 2-3 magazines a month, Texture is worth the $9 a month.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.