Apple might have an important surprise when it finally unveils a magazine app later this month.
Developer Steve Troughton-Smith recently evaluated beta code for an upcoming version of Apple’s iOS software and found that it will feature offline reading. According to Troughton-Smith, who posted his findings to Twitter, the magazines available through the service will be in PDF mode and users will be able to download them to their devices for reading on a plane or anywhere else an Internet connection might not be available.
Apple (AAPL) has been rumored to be working on a magazine subscription service for months. Last year, the company acquired Texture, an app that provides access to more than 200 magazines for $9.99 per month. While that app is still available in Apple’s App Store, it could be replaced with Apple’s new service.
According to some reports, Apple’s app, which is rumored to be called Apple News Magazines, would take some cues from Texture and charge customers a monthly fee for access to magazines.
A Wall Street Journal report in February said that Apple has been in talks with magazines for quite some time and wants to split 50% of the revenue they generate from the service. Some magazine publishers balked at the hefty fee, according to the report.
Troughton-Smith wasn’t able to see which magazines will be available in the app at launch. He did, however, access the genres Apple plans to list in the app, including entertainment, fashion, food and cooking, news and politics, and more.
Apple hasn’t said when it might unveil the new service, but recent rumors have said it’ll be unveiled alongside the company’s new television platform, among other announcements, at its press event on March 25.