Issue #45 June 19, 2014 Jun 19, 2014 Jun 19
Issue #43 May 22, 2014 May 22, 2014 May 22
Issue #39 March 27, 2014 Mar 27, 2014 Mar 27
Issue #36 February 13, 2014 Feb 13, 2014 Feb 13
Issue #24 August 29, 2013 Aug 29, 2013 Aug 29
Issue #20 July 4, 2013 Jul 4, 2013 Jul 4
Issue #9 January 31, 2013 Jan 31, 2013 Jan 31
Issue #1 October 11, 2012 Oct 11, 2012 Oct 11

We Answer Your Questions


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?

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.)

Do you offer gift subscriptions?

We sure do. 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. Tap $19.99 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.

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 Letters to the Editor), 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?

Yes! We use a password-free account system.

  • 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. Tap Register Email Address, and an email (within the app) pops up. You can use any return address that you have set in iOS, not just the one that you use with the App Store. When you receive the email on your iOS device or another device, copy the link and paste it in the browser you want to authorize. After you’ve done that once, you can send email from the Web site to authorize other browser software.

  • If you subscribed via our Web site, you can activate your subscription in iOS.

  1. Tap the gear icon in the iOS app.
  2. Tap Subscribed on Website.

  3. Enter your email address and tap Get Subscription Email.

  4. Tap OK, I’ll Check, and then switch to iOS Mail to retrieve the email and tap the link. (If you use another email program or the link doesn’t work, copy the link from email instead of tapping it, and paste it into the Safari browser in iOS.)

  5. You’re thanked!

How do I unsubscribe?

If you subscribed in the app for iPhone or iPad, pull out the article list and tap the settings gear icon, then tap Manage Subscriptions. If you can’t find it or 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. (Billing support cannot cancel subscriptions purchased in the iPhone/iPad app — see above.)

Can I read articles for free without a subscription?

We make one article permanently 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.

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.

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.

That said, we only contract for 60 days of exclusive rights following the publication date from authors, illustrators, and photographers, all of whom are then allowed to republish on their own or other sites, so you may sometimes see older articles and imagery from The Magazine elsewhere.

Can I read on a Kindle? And: Can I keep permanent off-line copies of articles?


  • 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.)

  • You can send entire articles to Instapaper.

  • 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.

Web access and iOS downloads of issues after your access subscription ends are not supported at present. See below for details.

The app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

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

Apple requires all Newsstand apps to be in the Newsstand “folder.” However, we have a workaround you might like.

  1. On your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad visit our app icon redirect page — this seems to just immediately launch our app. But hold on.

  2. Return to Safari, and the page now remains static, and has instructions.

  3. Tap the Sharing icon, then tap Add to Home Screen, and finally tap Add. The Magazine’s app icon will be added to your home screen. You can move it around as if it were an app.

Now, whenever you want to launch our app, tap the icon on your home screen, and it will load Safari for less than a second, and then launch The Magazine.

Why does the app open to the Foreword when I select another article? Or: Why do I see only part of an issue or have images cut off in some articles?

The download of the issue may have been interrupted or another problem may affect the cached copy in your app. It’s easy to restore the full issue. In the table of contents view, swipe the red issue number and date bar, and then tap the trash-can icon to delete the issue from your device. The bar turns gray. Tap the bar and the issue downloads again.

If this remains a problem, force quit the app. See instructions below for force quitting.

The Magazine won’t launch on my first-generation iPad?

Given Apple’s update schedule, we felt that supporting iOS 5 and the original iPad would lead to disappointment in a future release when Apple discontinued supporting apps that had backward compatibility to iOS 5, and the app would stop working for those iPad users. You can use the Safari browser to read on the iPad, and have access to the full range of features.

Will you be making an Android or Windows Phone?

At this time, we have no plans for an app on any other platforms, but we continue to look at whether there is enough interest to fund the software development necessary. Our Web site is designed to work well on mobile devices, and a single subscription lets you read on any device or computer in a Web browser.

I enabled Apple’s new two-step authentication for my Apple ID. Now I can’t get the iOS app to recognize my subscription.

Some readers have reported this problem. If you haven’t already logged out and back in (Settings > iTunes & App Store > tap Apple ID), first do that.

Next, if the subscription still isn’t recognized, force quit our app: press the Home button to return to the home screen, then double-press Home to bring up the app drawer. Hold down on the icon for The Magazine, and tap its X to force quit it when it starts jiggling. Launch the app again, and all should be well.

If that still fails, you can uninstall the app (hold down on its icon on the home screen until it jiggles, then tap X, and confirm removal), and then reinstall. You can then restore your subscription by tapping the gear icon. (Warning: This deletes all stored issues. If you are not a current subscriber, you will be unable to download those issues again.)

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 import that subscription into the app.

I ended my subscription. Why can’t I re-download the issues that came out while I was a subscriber?

Subscriptions to The Magazine work more like Netflix or cable TV than print magazines.

Unlike most magazines, when you’re a subscriber, you can access all issues that we’ve ever published. We don’t limit you to just the issues that come out during your subscription, and we don’t ask you to purchase individual issues.

In return, we ask that you have an active subscription whenever you want to download any issues. (This is how most Newsstand magazines work.)


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.