iPad Air 2: Readly's photographic magazines come to life
Last Friday I picked up one of the new iPad Air 2 tablets from the Apple Store. It is unfeasibly thin and light and the retina screen is magnificent, even better than that of the last iPad or the iPad mini. For photographers this is the tablet of choice and I am intending to make more use of it as a portfolio display device. To this end I splashed out on the largest 128GB storage and added cellular capability for good measure.
Right from the outset I am astounded by the reproduction of this screen, particularly for reading my increasing library of Readly photographic magazines, from Amateur Photographer to a clutch of American publications such as Shutterbug. Unlike with my previous iPad mini, there is no compromise with the Air 2. Magazines are virtually full size and the pages look just as they do in the physical magazine. Of course, you are seeing one page at a time and this can be a little awkward when double-page spreads cover one photograph or article. Spreads are not available in landscape mode, as you might expect from experience with the Kindle reader. Instead the single page is reproduced in larger format (I would say this is actually one-to-one with the printed magazine) but you need to scroll up and down to read the full page.
This lack of two-page spreads is really the only disadvantage of the online edition. On the other hand, there are many advantages, not least of which is the frequent insertion of live hyperlinks for instant access to various internet sites.
When reading on the Air 2 there is no temptation constantly to zoom in as is the case with the iPad mini or, even, the iPhone 6 Plus. Surprisingly, though, the 6 Plus does offer a good backup device if you want to read the latest edition of AP while not the road.
A subscription to Readly costs £9.99 a month and provides access to a large range of magazines, UK and international. Storing back copies on your iPad is automatic so you can carry around a complete library of your favourite publications. There is just one snag: Some publications, and AP is one of them, arrive a week or so after publication date. This doesn't worry me because printed magazines are already at least a month out of date before they hit the shelves, so a bit more of a wait is no hardship.
I believe the iPad Air 2 should be on the Christmas list of every serious photographer.