Rolling Stone arrives on iPad

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Better late than never: A native version of Rolling Stone arrived on the iPad, Thursday, more than a year after the magazine’s publisher promised the magazine’s tablet version would be forthcoming.

The rock n’ roll magazine is available through the Newsstand on the iPad, and it offers a few more features than just a digital replica of the print magazine: Streaming music from the artists profiled in its pages will be available for instant listening in the app.

While the magazine had been available to iPad users for a while through Zinio’s mobile magazine reader, the arrival of Rolling Stone in an optimized native form was a long time coming. In November 2011, Wenner Media said it would launch the magazine on the iPad “in early 2012.” Instead, a whole year passed—slowed, perhaps, by publisher Jann Wenner’s famous skepticism about the promise of Apple’s tablet.

We’ve only had limited hands-on time with the app, but it’s the same software publisher Condé Naste uses for magazines like The New Yorker and Wired. Issues appear in a portrait-only orientation. And in Rolling Stone’s case, you’ll find Buy buttons that take you to those songs and albums to purchase in your iPad’s iTunes app. It’s certainly a more interactive experience than what you might be used to with the PDF of the magazine that’s available through Zinio.

Readers can buy a single issue for $5 or pay $2 a month for a recurring subscription; a $20 annual subscription is also available. With both subscription options, a free trial month is available. The app is compatible with tablets running iOS 4.3 or later.

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