Issue #24 August 29, 2013 Aug 29, 2013 Aug 29
Issue #9 January 31, 2013 Jan 31, 2013 Jan 31
Issue #1 October 11, 2012 Oct 11, 2012 Oct 11

We Answer Your Questions

For general support or billing questions that aren’t answered below, please get in touch directly.


Where can I subscribe?

Either via our iOS app using the App Store (download, launch, and follow directions) or through this Web site at the Subscription page.

How much does it cost to subscribe and what does it include?

It’s $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year (16% savings over monthly). A Web subscription is the same price as a subscription in the iOS Newsstand and gives you access in iOS on all your devices, too. (See below for how to activate both kinds of access.)

You receive new issues twice each month (every other Thursday) of four or more feature articles and essays. Issues that are published during an active subscription are yours forever.

Can I buy just one issue?

Certainly! We sell all issues for $1.99 each, and bundles of issues at a discount. You can purchase individual issues through the app or our Web site, and then download or read the issues in either place.

Do you offer gift subscriptions?

We sure do, but currently only on our Web site. Visit our Gift Subscription page, and you can buy one or more yearly subscriptions. Each subscription purchase results in a coupon code that you can send to a gift recipient as a code and a link. Or you can use a Redeem page we’ve set up in which you provide the recipient’s information and we send them an email with instructions.

Gift subscriptions are a single purchase: there’s no renewal or additional charges. A gift recipient doesn’t need to provide any credit-card or other information to redeem the code, either.

Can I switch from monthly to yearly?

Yes! If you’re already a monthly subscriber, you can switch to yearly:

  • In the app, tap the settings (gear) icon, and tap Manage Subscriptions. This launches the App Store. You may be prompted to enter your password. Now tap The Magazine and set Auto-Renew to Off. The Yearly option at $19.99 is now available in the app. Tap Subscribe and then tap the $19.99 a Year option, and you’ll be prompted to subscribe at that new rate. Billing starts when your current monthly subscription period ends. (Yearly subscriptions do not have a 7-day free trial.)

  • For Web subscribers, visit the account page. You can tap a link to get a pro-rated upgrade from monthly to yearly: the unused portion of your monthly subscription is credited toward the yearly cost.

Do you send a notice whenever an issue is published?

If you have the app installed on an iOS device and notifications are turned on for our app (and in general), you will get a notice whenever a new issue is out. If you miss that or have notifications turned off, a “new” label appears on the issue in the Newsstand. (Go to the Settings app and tap Notifications to change how you get alerts.)

Web subscribers (and anyone else) can subscribe to our news mailing list. When we publish an issue, we will send a mailing with the cover, photos, summaries, and more. We’ll occasionally email with other information about The Magazine. But we don’t sell or rent our mailing list or any of your personal information; see our privacy policy for more details.

You must have an RSS or Atom news feed, right?

Certainly. Our feeds contain the full text of articles that appear in full on the Web site (such as the Editor’s Note and some limited number of free articles), and the preview text for articles that are available to subscribers. You can subscribe in your favorite newsreaders via RSS or Atom.

Does my Web subscription work with the iOS app? And vice-versa?


  • If you have subscribed via the iOS app (a Newsstand subscription), you can read The Magazine in any browser. Launch the app and tap the settings (gear) icon and then tap Read Anywhere. Enter your email address, and then follow the instructions in the message you receive to set a password. Now this account is associated with your iTunes account, and you can use the email and password to log in at our Web site.

  • If you subscribed via our Web site, you can activate your subscription in iOS. Tap Subscribe in the Issues list, then tap Log In. Enter the same email and password and you’re good to go.

Any individual issues you purchased either on the Web or in the app may be read in other place when you link accounts, too.

Your Web site says I don’t own or can’t read a specific issue, but I’m a iTunes subscriber or bought the issue in the app.

Because Apple keeps a high degree of privacy around user account information (which we respect), we can’t always check from our Web site on your purchases if you haven’t opened the app since a new issue came out. When you open the app, it checks in your purchases and, if you have a Read Anywhere account set up, then transmits the details about your subscription or issues purchased. You should then be able to return to our site and read or download the issue.

How do I unsubscribe?

If you subscribed in the iOS, tap the gear icon, then tap Manage Subscriptions. If you no longer have the app installed, follow Apple’s instructions here to cancel your subscription in iTunes or the App Store. This is the only way to cancel subscriptions purchased in the app. Apple does not provide a way for our staff to cancel your subscription.

If you subscribed on our site with a credit card, click Cancel via your account page. For other billing issues with Web subscriptions, please contact billing support.

Can I read articles for free without a subscription?

We typically make one article free in each issue, and provide a preview of all the others. To read more, we ask that you subscribe. There’s a 7-day free trial on the Web and in our iOS app. We also sell issues individually without a subscription.

You can browse a list of all our free articles.


I’d like to submit an idea for an article. Where do I go?

Right here! We are eager for reported articles and essays, but contact us first before writing anything.

Can I get issues in ebook format, including for the Kindle?


  • In your account, you can enter an email address to have us automatically email you each new issue as it appears in either or both Kindle-compatible MOBI format or the more generally supported EPUB format. (You can also visit any issue’s table of contents and click to send that issue in those formats.) You may need to whitelist our delivery address,, with your Kindle account; see Amazon’s directions.

  • You can download MOBI and EPUB files from each issue’s table of contents page. (Kindle users can send those via email or use USB to transfer them to their device. See Amazon’s instructions.)

  • On each article on the Web site, you can send a copy of that article to a Kindle using Amazon’s conversion service; a pop-up window opens to log in to an Amazon account.

EPUB is supported by nearly all e-readers as a native format. On a smartphone, try the free BlueFire, available for both iOS and Android. On iOS, you can also use Apple’s free iBooks app to view EPUB files. On the Desktop, try the free Adobe Digital Editions.

Will you release content for free a few weeks after an issue is published?

We make one article from each issue available for free (see our list of free articles), but generally, no.

Without the incentive of the content only being available to subscribers, subscriptions decline and we can no longer afford to pay writers as much as we do, which means we cannot run the kind of articles that readers want.

The app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

When I try to read an issue in the app, the message “Download Failed” appears

In some cases, account information from our Web site may not be synced up at the time you logged into the app with your username and password. Generally, tapping Settings (gear) and Log Out, then tapping Subscribe, I Already Have an Account, and logging back in will solve the problem.

If not, please contact us directly with details, and we will solve this problem as quickly as we can!

Can I make The Magazine appear on my home screen in iOS?

Apple requires all Newsstand apps to be in the Newsstand “folder.” We hope that changes one day.

The Magazine won’t launch on my iOS device!

Our original app only supported iOS 6 and later, and our version 2.0 app requires iOS 7. However, our Web site is designed to work with smartphones and tablets, and you can use a single subscription on any number of mobile and desktop browsers.

I am trying to subscribe to The Magazine in the app, and I see a pop-up message that says that in-app purchases are not allowed. What gives?

This means in-app purchases have been disabled system-wide in the “Restrictions” settings. Launch the Settings app, tap General, and then tap Restrictions and ensure In-App Purchases are On.

If you still cannot subscribe via in-app purchase, you can subscribe on the web and activate that subscription in the app.

Will you be making an Android version?

The future is mysterious and unknowable, and we hope that a market develops for publications on Android. For now, our Web site is designed to work well in mobile browsers.

When I cancel my subscription, what do I keep?

Starting July 31, 2014 (Issue #48), subscribers own every new issue that is published during an active subscription, and download those issues again later or read them on the Web site.

Yes! In the app, tap the Subscribe button and then tap Restore Purchases or Log In, depending on whether you had an iTunes or Web account. On the Web site, log in using the account information you used with your active subscription. Any issues you purchased are now available.


How did you make those cool pop-up footnotes on your Web site?

We use Bigfoot.js by Chris Sauve. It’s nifty.

iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.