In January, I mentioned that Playboy Magazine was coming out with an uncensored web application for the iPad. Today it launched, bypassing Apple’s app store (and associated censorship) by creating a magazine application that can be loaded onto the device by visiting an iPad-optimized webpage, i.playboy.com. (Do I really need to tell you it’s not a good idea to go there from work?)
Playboy offers subscription rates of $8 for one month, $60 for one year, or $100 for two years, and proudly proclaims this will provide access to “Every issue of Playboy ever made on your iPad”. Thus, it’s a subscription to the complete archive, not just each issue as it comes out—another area it trumps most existing iPad magazine apps.
Of course, as with other web services, it requires Internet access to use—though that’s becoming less of a barrier the more ubiquitous wi-fi access points become. (It’s not clear whether the magazine app supports any downloaded and cached content, the way Ibis Reader does.) But regardless, this does demonstrate a way magazines can bypass Apple’s censorship—and its 30% share of revenue. And unlike most iPad magazine apps, it’s completely usable on desktop or laptop computers, too.