Call me old-school, but I still like magazines. Reading them, writing for them -- heck, I even started one many moons ago.
If you feel the same way, but prefer digital editions to their paper counterparts, check out Next Issue. A kind of "Netflix for magazines," the service offers unlimited access to over 80 titles, all for a flat monthly rate.
The rate: $14.99 for Next Issue Premium, or $9.99 for Basic (more on all that in a minute). For a limited time, however, CNET is offering a three-month Next Issue Premium trial absolutely free. (You'll be charged after your 90-day free trial if you don't cancel.)
I'm really jazzed about this, because usually the trial period is just one month. I've occasionally seen a two-month special, but never three months. This is literally a $45 value, with no strings attached except this one: you must supply a valid credit card, then remember to cancel your Next Issue subscription at the end of the 90 days. Of course, that's assuming you want to cancel. I suspect that once you try this, you won't want to live without it.
As a subscriber, you'll get access to Next Issue's entire catalog, which includes 80-plus magazines, both current and back issues. That's particularly awesome for catching up on older issues of, say, Food Network Magazine or Real Simple.
You can read all these mags on an iPad, on select Android tablets, or -- as of yesterday -- on any Windows 8 tablet or PC. (Alas, Next Issue isn't currently compatible with Kindle or Nook tablets, which frustrates me no end.) I've done most of my testing on an iPad 3.
The Next Issue app isn't perfect. It crashes periodically (pun!), doesn't support Apple's Retina Display -- competitor Zinio does -- and doesn't let you bookmark, share, or print articles. (For help with this last issue (pun!), read my post, How to print a page from a magazine app.)
What's more, if you're not a voracious magazine reader, Next Issue can get a little pricey: $120 annually for Basic or $180 for Premium, which includes weeklies like Sports Illustrated and Time. A while back I crunched the numbers to see if this was really a good value. Spoiler: It definitely can be. One bit of good news is that you can share your subscription with up to five devices in the same household.
Of course, now you've got a full three months to decide if you love this service as much as I do. If you own a compatible device, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this killer deal -- which is a CNET exclusive, by the way.
Bonus deal: Speaking of reading, if you're among the handful of people who haven't read it yet, Amazon has "The Hunger Games Trilogy" for Kindle for just $5. (So does Google Play.) I'm neither a young adult nor a girl, but I tremendously enjoyed this series -- it's a steal at $5.
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