18/06/2012 15:50 | By Stuart Dredge, contributor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

Lekiosk: app of the day

Digital magazines get Spotify-style all-you-can-eat subscription pricing.


Lekiosk is rated four stars out of five by MSN Tech & Gadgets (© LeKiosque.fr sas, Paris France)

What is it?
Sounds French? It is French! Lekiosk started life in France as an iOS alternative to Apple's own Newsstand, for publishers to sell their digital magazines to iPhone and iPad owners. Now it's available in the UK too.

Coolest feature
The magazines are available individually, but a subscription offer lets you pay £9.99 a month to get any 10 mags of your choice.

Platforms
iPhone/iPad - free

Review
Pretty much every magazine publisher is excited about the potential of tablets for their business, especially since Apple launched its iOS Newsstand service, which handles auto-renewing subscriptions for individual publications, while delivering them to your device as soon as a new issue is available.

It's got competition, though. Lekiosk launched in France last year, and is apparently on a quarter of all iPads there, having notched up more than 500,000 downloads on the App Store. Now it's crossed the Channel, armed with deals with some of the UK's biggest magazine publishers.

One one level, it's a straight rival for Apple's Newsstand, selling you digital issues of magazines that you can then read on your iPad (or iPhone, but the bigger screen is definitely better).

Publishers including Conde Nast, Dennis and the BBC are all on board for its launch here, meaning mags such as The Week, Sky at Night, Wired, Top Gear, GQ, Good Food, Vogue, Living Etc, Viz, Uncut and many more are available. Issues tend to vary in price between £1.49 and £3.49, depending on the title.

Lekiosk is rated four stars out of five by MSN Tech & Gadgets (© LeKiosque.fr sas, Paris France)

You download issues within the app, where they sit on iBooks-style virtual shelves. Once opened, you flick through (complete with a slightly annoying page-turn animation, also iBooks-style) at your leisure.

The big innovation here, though, is the ability to pay £9.99 a month for a bundle of 10 magazines - applying Spotify-style all-you-can-eat pricing to the magazine world, albeit with that 10-mag ceiling rather than truly unlimited access. Not all the magazines are available in the bundle, though, so it's important to check your favourites before signing up in-app.

Lekiosk is easy to use, although its main user interface - a spinnable 3D kiosk - may lose its novelty fairly quickly in favour of a simple category view. For individual magazines, it seems to be focused on selling individual issues rather than subscriptions: if you want the latter and no standalone Newsstand app is available, Zinio may be a useful alternative.

Even so, if you can find 10 magazines that you like on Lekiosk, its bundle deal is very good value for money. And even if it's just seven or eight, it may encourage you to try some new reading material.

Lekiosk is rated four stars out of five by MSN Tech & Gadgets

Lekiosk is rated four stars out of five by MSN Tech & Gadgets (© LeKiosque.fr sas, Paris France)

0Comments