GQ on the iPhone review

Back in November, Conde Nast started selling Gentleman's Quarterly in the App Store as a pilot program. They announced back in January that the program was a success.

When I read about the announcement, I went looking for a review and didn't find one. I know it's a small matter, but if Conde Nast is going to release all their magazines for the iPhone, I would be remiss if I did not critique the design.

When I bought the February issue, I expected to find a page by page copy of the paper edition. I expected to be forced to page through multiple full page ads, to loose half or more of each page to ads, and to have to jump around the magazine to finish a story. These are some of the  reasons I stopped reading magazines, and none of these nuisances were in the GQ app.

There are 2 ways to read the magazine. If you hold the iPhone in landscape mode, you will see 2 facing pages at a time. This feature is useful because it allows you to flip through the magazine like you would the paper edition. If there is something you want to see, you can zoom in (multi touch works, of course). And if there is an article you want to read, you can turn the iPhone to portrait mode, and it will be automatically loaded.

If you start in portrait mode, the first thing you'll see is not the cover, but the TOC. This isn't the Contents page you'd see in the paper edition, it's one that was made for this edition. The TOC consists of the major sections of the magazine; if you select one you'll see a sub-TOC with the articles in that section.

When you read an article, you won't see ads interspersed with the text (I like that). Nor will you see the pictures that would normally accompany the article. Instead, the pictures will be attached and can be viewed in an image mode. Basically, all you have to see is the text of the article (I love that). You have to scroll through the text; there are no page turns.

You don't have to see the ads. You don't have to navigate around sidebars, footnotes, and other trivia. This is fantastic, in my opinion. Conde Nast has set things up so you can ignore the most annoying parts of the magazine. I love that.


  • newsstand purchase only, (no subscription option)
  • limited formatting choices
  • only 4 font sizes


  • well designed
  • not simply a copy of the paper magazine

My Recommendation

When Conde Nast releases the rest of their catalog in this format, I will check to see if I used to read any of the magazines. If the option is available, I will subscribe.

P.S. I learned while doing background research that Conde Nast is using Adobe Air to make the magazine (according to Adobe). I haven't used it, so I cannot comment on Air itself, but I am impressed with the magazine.

About Nate Hoffelder (11473 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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