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I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

The Magazine launch day FAQ

I can’t find it in the App Store by searching for “The Magazine”.

Eventually, as the app’s reputation improves, this will probably fix itself. Until then, searches for “Marco Arment” include it, here’s the direct link, and there’s a Smart App Banner on the-magazine.org.

Is it U.S.-only?

No, but you may have trouble searching for it. See above.

Why is it called “The Magazine: For geeks like us.” in the App Store?

“The Magazine” was already taken, apparently by an app that’s not currently published. Developers often squat on names like this. Apple doesn’t permit two apps with exactly the same name, so I had to add that tagline.

Is this just tech news? I already have enough tech news for free.

No. Articles in The Magazine will occasionally be about tech news, but will rarely be tech news.

I subscribed on my iPhone and can’t subscribe on my iPad.

Sorry, this was a bug in the 1.0 release with the in-app-purchase handling. The 1.0.1 update fixes it, which is currently in review by Apple. I’m hoping it will be approved tonight.

Designers?

The design was a collaboration with Pacific Helm, who were excellent to work with.

I’m a weird client for a designer to have, since I’m a product designer with strong opinions, minimal visual-design skills, and little patience. Pacific Helm worked with my difficulties without even making me feel like I was being difficult, brought incredible talent and skill to the project, iterated quickly, and met my aggressive schedule, so we made a great team.

Settings?

There’s no settings screen. With a brand new app, I wanted the freedom to reduce options, which forced me to make good default choices and cut unnecessary complexity from the interface.

Links are opening in Chrome. Bug or feature?

Feature. If you have Chrome installed, The Magazine will open external links in Chrome instead of Safari.

Why does the “Send to Instapaper” button in the action sheet use that perforated-metal style like the Copy button?

In the iOS 6 API to use those action sheets, custom actions added by the application must use that style. Developers can only supply a grayscale image that’s used like a mask, not full-color icons like the built-in Mail, Message, Twitter, Facebook, and Weibo buttons.

Why is the Instapaper logout button in the action sheet?

I’m not crazy about that. But since there’s no settings screen, and sending to Instapaper is a one-tap action with no intermediate “compose” screen, I don’t think there’s anywhere better to put it.

Why do I get asked for my name, email, and ZIP code?

Honestly, I’d rather opt out of the collection of that information. But I can’t: Apple has tied that prompt to all auto-renewable subscriptions.

Why does it require iOS 6?

It uses some iOS 6-only features and fonts, and it’s architected for iOS 6’s gesture handling. Setting this high baseline also greatly simplifies testing, maintenance, and future updates.

Will articles be viewable on the web?

Probably. I haven’t decided how to do that yet — I might restrict it, for example, to only articles older than a certain age.

Will you add pagination, like Instapaper?

Maybe. If I do, it will probably only be the “Fast Pagination” mode, not the “iBooks-Style Pagination” with the page-curl animation, which requires far too much complexity and performs too poorly on the iPad 3.

But I’m not sure that pagination is necessary here. It comes with a moderate interface cost that may not be worthwhile in this app. I’ll think about it.

Ads?

Today? None.

In the future, I can’t be sure. I don’t want to commit to no-ads-forever today, then need them down the line and need to backtrack. So I’m not saying there will never be ads, but I’m trying to avoid them, and I think I’ll be able to.

Kindle edition?

No, but I’m looking into it.

Android?

No. A simultaneous Android release would have made the first version much more expensive and time-consuming to develop before I find out whether this is actually going to be a sustainable business. But I also have doubts about the viability of this business model on Android in general. By not addressing that market, I’m missing out on some revenue, but I’m not sure I’m missing out on much profit.

Will it ever send to Pocket? Readability? Other read-later services?

No.

Why is it rated “12+” for infrequent drugs, alcohol, and profanity?

I wanted the freedom to discuss these topics or use profanity sparingly in articles when warranted.

Can I write for The Magazine?

I’d love to hear from you. Email me an article pitch.

Each issue only has four articles, but I’d like to encourage author diversity. So while there are few slots, that doesn’t mean you can’t get one.

The next available slot is in Issue 4, and authors are always paid for their work.

Can I license The Magazine’s code to make my own Newsstand app?

I’m not in that business today. I don’t know if I’ll go there in the future. It brings a lot of overhead that I probably won’t have time for.

Is this really going to work? Are people really going to pay?

If a good portion of today’s free-trial subscribers let their subscriptions continue into the paid period next week, it will be profitable then, just one week after launch. And I’m hoping they will, because not only will The Magazine be able to continue indefinitely, but I’ll be able to raise the author payment rates sooner than I expected.

Give people an easy way to support something they like, and they will.

Good press or reviews from today?

Thanks, everyone.

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