Back in the late ’80s, my favorite magazine was Premiere. This was a glossy movie magazine for those who obsessed over the craft and business of film. Celebrities appeared on the cover and actors were profiled, as was the case with People and the Hollywood Reporter, but no other magazine put you on the set, in the writers’ room, or at the negotiating table with execs like Premiere did.
I loved it for the insight, as well as the large photos and layouts, and I vividly recall when they shrunk the magazine down from Life size to something roughly equivalent to the New Yorker. Premiere never really recovered, and the publication limped along until the declining economics of print killed it in 2007.
I was reminded of that classic glossy publication as I perused dozens and dozens of magazines in Apple News+ on my iPhone 7, an iPhone XS Max, an iPad Mini, and the iPad Pro 12.9.
The iPad Pro came closest to recreating that classic Premiere format. Even so, it was smaller — not quite the same experience, even on the biggest tablet Apple has to offer.
News+, Apple’s new home for paid editorial content, is both a reminder of the pleasure of reading print magazines and an admission that, no matter how many cool animations and interactive features you slide into Vanity Fair, it will never be the same as reading a physical magazine. But if you can accept that the News+ experience is its own distinct product, it can be quite easy to lose yourself among its endless digital pages.
Like many of the services Apple recently launched in Cupertino, News+ is not, in fact, a standalone app experience, but an augmentation of an existing one. I’ve been using Apple News, Apple’s largely human-run news aggregator and push service, for a few years now, and I’ve even come to rely on its Apple Watch notifications. Slipping News+ inside the already well-distributed and popular News app makes sense.
After agreeing to pay $9.99 a month — though the first month is free — I soon had access to News+ on all of my devices that were signed into the same iCloud account. I even set up family sharing so my wife and kids could get…