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Architectural Record Digital Edition app review: building your architectural library



If you work in the architectural field, or even if you just have an interest in architecture, then Architectural Record Digital Edition is an app you’ll want to check out. This architect app is a digital magazine edition of the aforementioned title. The world of architecture is always changing and you need access to all the tools available if you want to ensure you stay on top of the changes. The app is free, but the magazine editions are only available for purchase within the app. This architect app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.i

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Architectural Record Digital Edition


Buildings of Tomorrow

With the growth in popularity of tablets, magazines have come under increasing pressure to find new ways of distributing their media while maintaining an acceptable level of profitability. It’s quite a challenge when there’s so much information freely available on the Internet. Architectural Record Digital Edition has made the transition successfully by creating their own platform for the digital distribution of their magazine.

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To be successful with a digital magazine you need to make sure you provide the reader with rich content and this app does a good job as far as I can tell, but unfortunately you can only really preview the app unless you purchase an individual magazine or a yearly subscription.

Buildings of Tomorrow image

Using the App

The app itself is pretty simple to use. When you open the app you’ll be presented with a page that has each edition for the past year available for purchase. Each edition provides a preview of the cover, but if you want to see any more of the magazine you’ll have to purchase an edition for $11.99 or a yearly subscription for $22.99. This is a pretty steep price so if you’re not a dedicated architectural enthusiast you’ll probably find this a little too much.

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Navigating the app is straightforward. You can toggle between available editions and the ones you’ve actually purchased by tapping on the tabs in the top left corner, and you can also search through editions by using the search bar in the top right. Along the bottom you’ll notice four icons: issues, my account, live, and help. Most of these are obvious, but the live icon is actually a cool feature. Tapping on this icon will allow you to access a fair bit of free content which is available on Architectural Record Digital Editions website. This includes some great articles and pictures focusing on great architectural examples.

Architectural Record Digital Edition is a well-produced app. It provides easy access to the content, and it’s not difficult to use. When you’re producing a digital magazine simplicity is important. The focus should be on the magazine not on all the bells and whistles. This app succeeds in staying focused on its main purpose. The biggest problem I had is that there was nothing in the way of free samples. It’s hard to judge if the subscription is worth it if you don’t get to sample the product. The app would have been much better if they allowed potential subscribers to view a sample of the product before purchasing. This could have been accomplished by offering one edition free, or perhaps allowing access to an edition for a limited time. They really missed an opportunity here.  

Using the App image

Architectural Record Digital Edition


Pros & Cons


  • Easy to navigate
  • Some free content available in the live feature


  • No access to the digital editions without a subscription
  • No free preview of the magazine

Pros & Cons image

Final Words

Architectural Record Digital Edition is a simple app that does a good job of providing access to their magazine in a digital format. Unfortunately there is very limited free content available, and the subscription is quite expensive. It’s probably not worth the price unless you’re truly dedicated to architecture.

Architectural Record Digital Edition

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Cherry is a hard-working writer and an aspiring web designer who can't go a day without using her favorite apps. She's always on the lookout for new apps and enjoys discovering ones that others have overlooked.