Created exclusively for Apple operating systems, Newsstand allowed users to curate and organize digital media through a central mobile application. In-application purchases were completed through Apple’s iTunes store, and recurring purchases could be automatically delivered when available.
Publishers can offer discounts for subscriptions on Google Play Newsstand for users who have an existing print or digital subscription for the content. Google will verify the user's existing subscription before providing a discounted price.
In similar fashion, the Kindle Newsstand was created exclusively for Amazon Kindle Tablet users. Before purchasing, users are offered a 14-day trial, and upon any completed purchases, users can download content to the Cloud after subscriptions are canceled.
Google Play Newsstand Producer (formerly Google Currents Producer) is a production environment for content publishers to include their website or blog on Newsstand. It enables publishers to customize the look and feel of their content, and make design decisions that automatically optimize the content so that it can be simultaneously delivered to smartphones and tablets of all sizes and orientations.
Newsstand does not act as a native app, but rather a special folder. When selected, it shows icons for all of the periodicals that the user has subscribed to, such as newspapers and magazines. New issues are downloaded automatically.
Apple addressed this with the release of iOS 5.1, which removes this bypass method, so Newsstand is now completely unable to be nested inside other folders.
There was a button in the lower right corner, to go directly to the Newsstand category in the App Store, where after a newspaper and magazine was downloaded for free, in-app subscriptions or per individual periodicals can be purchased with an iTunes account, to download and deliver in the background the most recent edition of news automatically.
The NewsStand series' debut episode, broadcast on 1997-06-07, was a CNN & Time presentation, "Valley of Death", a highly controversial report that accused the United States military of using sarin gas in Operation Tailwind during the Vietnam War. After almost a month of further investigations, CNN declared that it has insufficient evidence to run the story, and both CNN and Time were forced to retract the story in full on 1997-07-02. CNN's retraction further stated that "CNN alone bears responsibility for both the television reports and for the printed article in the June 15 issue of Time magazine."
While Apple refers to Apple Newsstand as an app, it is actually a unique kind of folder, with individual apps of newspapers and magazines inside. Until iOS 7, it was impossible to place Newsstand inside another folder on any iOS devices, but that functionality is now enabled. Apple has expressed the intention to replace the file system with easier forms of knowing where documents are; iCloud is one example. In the iOS file system all documents remain within applications.
The first and best-known NewsStand combination was titled CNN & Time, or sometimes NewsStand: CNN & Time. It was heavily promoted in advance as a joint project between CNN and Time magazine and the first major example of "synergy" in the Time-Warner merger.
Newspaper and magazine brands had the option to move their current iOS apps to be inside the Newsstand app. Previously, before the release of Apple Newsstand, many brands had released their own separate iOS apps, and this gives them an option to nest these apps within Newsstand instead of remaining outside it (although brands can optionally release new versions of their iOS app to achieve this instead), in order to be part of the official Newsstand category within the iOS App Store and to take advantage of various features of Apple Newsstand. One of the first apps to do this was The New York Times, who moved their previously external iOS app to be inside Newsstand, on initial release of the Newsstand app.
Since iOS 9, the Newsstand app has been removed. It has been replaced by News where it has rolled out.
Massachusetts Newsstand is a product of ProQuest that provides online fulltext articles from a few selected newspapers published in Massachusetts between the 1980s and the present. It includes some current news coverage for parts of Berkshire, Middlesex, Suffolk, and Worcester counties. It does not include current news for the state's 10 other counties. As of 2012, the product bundle consists of content from:
CNN briefly ran other types of NewsStand programs, including CNN & Fortune and CNN & Entertainment Weekly. Another example of CNN-Time Warner synergy was People in the News, a TV show billed as being with People magazine.
As of iOS 7, Newsstand can be placed into a folder. However, for the purposes of full-screen gestures, accessibility functions and app switching, it is still treated as a folder on the Springboard.
Prior to iOS 7, the folder appears in the app switcher, despite being a folder instead of an app. However, the Newsstand folder has been removed from the app switcher in iOS 7.
There has been some confusion about this from users who did not know it was already a folder, and thus found they could not easily add Newsstand into other folders they created on their devices, until many subsequently found a very specific folder creation method to bypass this deliberate limitation. However, as the operating system disallows this, doing so could cause possible minor technical failures on the devices concerned and the SpringBoard will crash.
Google News's content could be read on a dedicated Newsstand section of the Google Play website or through the mobile apps for Android and iOS. Offline download and reading was supported on the mobile apps.
Digital newsstands appeal to a global market, creating an interactive reading experience. As many publications continue to produce content exclusively for online markets, newsstand relevancy has increased to place them prominently in major operating systems and web-based systems. This is also in part to the minute cost of publishing with the absence of traditional production costs, like printing.
Many comments on Apple's own forums and many other technology websites show that users of iOS devices wish that the Newsstand icon could be hidden or removed completely if they never intend to use it.