There isn’t a dentist, doctor, or lawyer’s office that doesn’t have a smattering of old magazines cluttering up the waiting area. Okay, for you literalists, I’m sure there’s an office somewhere devoid of magazines, but I can’t think of any. The truth is, magazines are an important way for us “important” people to tell our “less-than-important” clients, that our “important” lives are more “important” than theirs, and as an apology for any delay, please read an outdated magazine.

Well, for those who believe that “pomp” goes with circumstance, Google Play Magazines may be the way you add more pomp to showing your “important” clients how “important” you are.

Actually, kidding aside, Google Play Magazines might be a seriously cool way to provide unique content to your clients while they wait. The concept is simple: buy a single issue or subscribe to a magazine using Google, read the magazine on your Android tablet or smartphone. The subscriptions seem fairly priced, though you’re not going to find any “99% off the cover price” deals, a yearly subscription will run about $14.99.


Magazines are purchased through the Google Play Magazines app, or directly from the Google Play site. The in-app link is somewhat confusing, though once you find the Google Play button in the right-hand corner, you’re on-the-move.

There are a significant number of magazines to choose from including popular titles like Country LivingForbesEntrepreneur, Field and Stream and Newsweek.

I love the full page or “true style” display, and particularly the option to display the text as text content.

I do have a few small complaints. First, the magazines don’t display in full page view. You’ll notice on the screenshots above that there are black bars on the top or bottom (sometimes both) of the page. Though the magazine centers on the screen, it doesn’t fill the whole screen like Amazon Kindle or other e-reader apps.

Second, the “publishers require” information about you and your address (look out junk mail) to subscribe to the magazine. This is unnecessary and annoying.

Finally, the price of the magazines doesn’t necessarily reflect the e-book format, and the presumed cheaper costs of production. There aren’t, or at least shouldn’t be, any post-production costs such as shipping, so I wish the prices were less than the newsstand.

Now here’s how I’m contemplating using these in my law practice:

  1. Purchase a “cheap” Android tablet (Android OS 2.2 or above);
  2. Install Play Magazines, a web browser, Google Play, and Seal;
  3. Allow “Guest” connections to the office Wi-Fi;
  4. Lock down all programs except Play Magazines and the web browser;
  5. Add 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . magazines

All set and ready to go for the clients. I’d keep the tablet behind the front counter, though with a well-priced tablet, I wouldn’t be too concerned about theft or loss. Now, I can accomplish two things: keeping the front office clean and organized, and providing reading material for my clients. Though I don’t make keeping my clients waiting a habit, sometimes there are occasions or companions that necessitate something in the foyer.

So, what do you think? Would you be willing to convert an provide digital magazines to your clients, rather than paper?

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.

1 Comment

2012′s Best Android Apps for Lawyers | The Droid Lawyer™ · March 25, 2013 at 5:58 am

[…] Google Play Magazines (free) – with Newsweek announcing an all digital format, this (well, maybe not just Play Magazines) is the future of magazine publishing. […]

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