I actually heard about the Texture app while listening to Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast. Every magazine I ever wanted to read right on my iPad? – I was intrigued, to say the least.
So, I decided to try it out since Texture was offering a free trial to new customers.
What is Texture?
Texture is basically Netflix for magazines. It is an app for your smartphone or tablet that allows you to have access to 200+ magazines at your fingertips.
And this is not like cable where they tell you they offer 200+ channels and then you go in there and go, “But where’s Bravo?” No, this 200+ includes all the magazines I could think of that I was interested in reading. You can check out the entire list here.
How much does it cost?
Texture offers two pricing plans: basic and premium. Basic is $9.99/month and premium is $14.99/month. The main difference is that premium gives you access to all weekly edition magazines as well (e.g. US Weekly).
If you are someone who picks up a couple magazines per month in the checkout line, the subscription will pay for itself. Plus, you won’t just have your two measly magazines; you will have access to an additional 200+ issues for the same price!
Also, it is important to clarify that you can share your subscription with other family members to all use for the same price (up to 5 devices).
Texture is also offering our readers a free trial, which I highly recommend so you can test it out for yourself. If you don’t love it, you can cancel at any time.
How does Texture work?
Once you sign up and download the app, you can select your favorite magazines from their wide selection to populate your “My Library” tab on the main menu. Like I mentioned before, I found every single magazine that I sought out and many appealing ones I have never heard of.
You can set it so new issues of your favorite magazines download automatically when they come out. That way, you have them ready to go if you want to read them.
The reading experience takes a bit of getting used to because it is not always the most intuitive (sometimes scrolling up and down, sometimes left or right). But, I got used to the interface fairly quickly. I definitely preferred reading on the iPad. I found the iPhone just too small to really enjoy.
A growing number of the magazines are also incorporating interactive features like maps or slideshows or the occasional interview into their magazines, which I expect will become more and more prevalent and is a definite bonus.
What if you get called into your dentist in the middle of reading Cosmo? Texture saves your spot so you can pick up right where you left off when you are done. The bookmark does not sync across devices, which I suppose makes sense because you can have multiple readers on your account at any time.
Also on the main menu, is one of my favorite features, the “Highlights” tab. This section curates a variety of magazine clippings from all different magazines (not just your favorites) and organizes them into topics like “New & Noteworthy,” “Your Guide to the Election,” or “Top Stories in Health & Fitness.” I found so many fascinating stories through this feature and love that the stories are often from magazines that I would not ordinarily buy.
In fact, during a recent Happier podcast episode, Gretchen presented a “Happiness Hack” to go out and read 3 magazines that you ordinarily would not choose. Texture made it super easy to do that, and I was amazed at how energizing it was! It opened me up to a whole new realm of inspiration, and I found so many great products I want to review on the blog.
Also, I found myself jotting down notes of stories I could talk to my brother (who is a wildlife conservationist) about when I was browsing National Geographic or Christmas ideas for my dad when reading CNet.
Saving & Sharing
Another feature that I really liked is that you can save articles to your own “collections” sort of like you would pin something on Pinterest. For example, you can create a collection of “Workouts” where you pin different workout ideas from Self or Shape to try later. Or you can keep track of book recommendations in a “Books To Read” board.
I remember as a teenager I used to notoriously rip out pages from every magazine I read and then I had this grand plan to organize it into a big binder. But did that ever happen? Nope. Texture does the work for you, no gluestick required.
You can also share articles you read, which is great because I am always reading something and thinking, “Oh, Kevin would be interested in that,” so now I can just click the button and send it to them. I prefer the email sharing option as the Pinterest option took forever to load in my experience. The other negative to sharing is that it only sends the page or magazine spread you are viewing, which may not cover the whole article.
This is another one of my favorite features! Texture lets you search the entire database of magazines for any topic you are interested in. Say you want to catch up on all the recent Brangelina drama, simply search “Brad Pitt” and hundreds of articles are instantly available. So convenient for information junkies like me!
Settings & Storage
Another important feature that you should be aware of is the Settings tab on the bottom main menu. Specifically, the storage section.
When I first started my free trial, I was having a lot of issues to where I was about ready to give up on the app, but I figured out it was because I hardly had any space available on my phone (I blame my podcast addiction). So, I switched to my iPad that had a lot of free storage space and it was a completely different experience.
So, I would recommend making sure you have adequate storage space on whatever device you install it on because it is definitely a storage hog. With that being said, they did come up with some various settings to help minimize the memory it uses. Under Settings>Storage, you can select “How Much Space Texture Can Use,” which is very helpful. Also, you can delete all your stored issues at any time to clear up more room.
So, to summarize…
What I love about Texture:
- Access to hundreds of magazines on demand
- Ability to try out new magazines I ordinarily would not in a risk-free way
- Being able to search all magazines for a topic of interest
- Saving articles in collections like “Gift Ideas” to refer to later
- Sharing magazine clippings with friends and family via email.
- It’s green. No more feeling guilty about how many trees were sacrificed in the name of your magazine addiction.
What I hope they improve:
- Ability to share the whole article and not just the current page
- Integration with social media channels like Pinterest
- Make loading speeds even faster and minimize storage. I feel like this is the universal quest for all apps.
Get a free trial today using our link! Happy reading!