It may seem like an obvious feature, but for quite a while the Google Play store didn’t have any kind of option for print subscribers to add their subscription to their Google Play library. Instead, if a print subscriber like me wanted to read a magazine on the ASUS Nexus 7 that he already had on paper, it would still cost a couple dollars. Fortunately, the feature has finally been added to Google Play Magazines, and users can now add their own print subscriptions for free to Google’s magazine app.
I ran through the process with my Wired magazine just to get an idea of how it works, and surprisingly the setup was quite easy. I’ve never setup an online account for my subscription, but after a few dialogues I was able to enter my exact address to confirm the subscription, then setup an email address and password for my digital Conde Nast (Wired’s publisher) account. I did have to go through the standard checkout process and select a debit/credit card for potential payment, although the transaction total was $0.00. However, it appears that you must still have a card in Google Wallet to activate the subscription, as I wasn’t able to add my Google Play gift balance for the transaction.
Not making print subscribers pay for the same content again makes perfect sense, but for the longest time it wasn’t an option for magazines on Android devices. Some publishers still don’t support the feature, but at least now most major magazines do support free digital versions on Google Play Magazines. You can read about the details of the process on Google’s official support page, but the process is fairly self explanatory, and I’m just glad it is finally here. If nothing else, it makes my Nexus 7 an even better media consumption device than it was before.