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Multilingual iPad Reading: German Magazines and Books

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 8/29/2011

Learn how to find German language magazines and books for your iPad.

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    Reading in German on the iPad

    Because of the iPad’s format and popularity, it has become the next great hope for publishers who have seen declining sales in recent years. This is true for both books and print periodicals, but magazines and newspapers are really the ones that are shifting over with app versions of their content regularly. This is not just true for English speaking publications and books, though they have dominated the device because of its focus on the United States. Content is provided in languages from Europe, Asia, and beyond. Here is a look at German magazines for the iPad and books for the iPad that come in German.

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    Finding German Magazines

    Iconist Many magazines, including German publications, offer their content through a regular iPad app that is formatted to work more like an interactive print magazine than just a website. There have been a lot of them released so far, but one of the most internationally renowned of these is the FOTOHITS Magazine app, which brings Germany’s most popular photography magazine to the touch screen. This will be much more photo-centric than other German magazines for the iPad, with less text and larger focus on its high-end photography.

    SZ Magazine is a port from a German newspaper. Since it operates like the print publication it requires an in app purchases for every issue issue, which is small at only $0.99. SZ Magazine is more general some others, and offers regular columns as well as a variety of multimedia content. In this way they hope to unite the visual form of the magazine with a variety of different content types they are trying out, which may be the mark of success on the iPad.

    The fashion and culture magazine format has also been ported over in German with The Iconist, a German publication that is now exclusively for the iPad. It is the first of its kind, forgoing any kind of alternative publishing methods and dedicating itself purely to the iPad format. This actually makes it one of the most innovative publications for the format as all the design, and content, choices are made with the technology and interface of the iPad in mind. You will find multimedia content that takes a look a different global cultural trends, from interviews with Lady Gaga to an account of the birth of Microsoft.

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    Finding German E-Books

    iBooks is the iPad’s native app for reading and buying e-books, but buying foreign books for the iPad through iBooks is almost impossible since it is centered on English language books when you are buying out of the United States. If you do want to locate German language books it is going to be best to go through one of the independent e-reader apps that are available for download.

    An alternative is to simply download the e-books from a German specific web service and then read them in the iBooks reader, or some other app for the iPad. is an option for shopping for German books, and it is also a premiere place for buying foreign books on the iPad. From here you can select e-Books from one of the categories, and you will then have the same browsing categories that you would when just shopping through their entire catalogue. You can then download the file independently and decide from there what you would like to do with it. You could add it to another reader like the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes and Noble Nook, or bring it in to read through iBooks by adding it to the library.

    Begin by locating the file in the Finder after it has been purchased and downloaded from the website. Open up your iTunes and then select Books from under the Library heading in the left hand panel, which will be directly under iTunes U and Apps. This will already list all the books you have purchased through iBook or the PDFs you have chosen to read through it. Drag and drop the file to the library listing, and then plug in your iPad to your computer. Select the iPad from under the Devices heading and then go over to the Books tab in the main panel. In here you should first make sure the Sync Books option is checked and then decide whether or not you want All Books or Selected Books chosen. If you have all books chosen then your German book will be synced to iBooks with the rest of the lot, but if you have Selected Books chosen then you will have to go through the list below and make sure that there is a check mark next to the item. From here you can just choose to accept the changes and sync the iPad, and the new German title will be available in iBooks.

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    Fish Out of Water

    The real issue with finding German language content is purchasing it from the United States or other regions that are English language specific. This simply means that the services read the content that they make available to you based on what that language is, and if you register in Germany this will be the standard. Until then, you are going to have to find the rare apps and use alternative book channels to get the foreign language content you are looking for.