National Geographic Magazine News App Review (iOS, Free)


Languages: English

Seller: National Geographic Society

Minor bugfixes
--Fixed an issue where a user might have an issue stuck in the extracting state after completing a download.

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
6 Ratings
All Versions:
4760 Ratings


Ranked best among newsstand apps for 2012 by Apple. National Geographic magazine is available on iPhone and iPad. Subscribe once and get National Geographic magazine on both devices. Existing print and digital subscribers get complimentary access to both editions.

Here are details on our subscription* offers:
Annual subscription: $19.99 (12 issues)
Monthly subscription: $1.99/month (1 issue)
Single issues: $4.99/issue
Back issues of National Geographic magazine for iPad start with our February 2011 issue and November 2012 for iPhone.

• Payment will be charged to your iTunes account at confirmation of purchase.
• Subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current period.
• Account will be charged for renewal within 24hours of the end of the current period, and the cost of the renewal will be provided.
• Subscriptions may be managed by the user. Auto-renewal may be turned off by going to the user’s iTunes Account Settings after purchase.
• No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during active subscription period.
• Any unused portion of a free trial period, if offered, will be forfeited when the user purchases a subscription to that publication.
• Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

About the National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888. It is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology, and natural science, and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation.

Customer Reviews

  • Love this app!!

    by Snyderman

    I am amazed at the negative reviews. I am a print subscriber as well so maybe all the negatives have to do with the digital only or something. Anyway, I tell people all the time that the BEST thing about having my iPad is the Nat Geo magazine. The video content and other digital extras make me not even look at the hard copy magazine any more. STUNNING videos and photos!!

  • A great magazine, and an app.

    by Alexghs

    Frankly I am quite surprised of all the negative reviews for this magazine. I've never encountered any of the problems mentioned, having used the app on an older iPad with iOS 6 and on the latest retina mini with iOS 7. Having said this, I do have a single complaint about the omission of portrait mode. I'd would certainly appreciate the ability to read the magazine in portrait mode as well as landscape.

  • Where o where

    by Billupieno

    Truly a stunning app, when you can download issues. I got the first few. I've contacted NG from whom I got instructions of how to download issues. That was useless, I wasn't so dumb as to not know how to download them. I'd done that before. So, I delete the app, reload and now the app won't open and there isn't an icon on the iPad for it. In their defense ios7 has really messed up a lot of apps. But I'm without the issues I've paid for. Now it says I have the app so I hit open. Nothing. So now I can't delete the app, download the app or access my paid issues. Can't reach a real person.

  • Retina support please

    by McBryanO

    This app would be great if the images were not blurry from a lack of retina support. Please update to include hi resolution images, the photos were the main reason I downloaded this app.

  • Where o where

    by Billupieno

    Truly a stunning app, when you can download issues. I got the first few. I've contacted NG from whom I got instructions of how to download issues. That was useless, I wasn't so dumb as to not know how to download them. I'd done that before. So, I delete the app, reload and now the app won't open and there isn't an icon on the iPad for it. In their defense ios7 has really messed up a lot of apps. But I'm without the issues I've paid for.

  • Love the Digital NG

    by janelp

    We have been print subscribers for decades and now thoroughly enjoy the digital version with the extra insights, interviews, videos etc. Many of the animations are fascinating additions to the magazine. The photos when seen on an iPad seem to come alive.

  • Sandbox?!

    by Kat7155!

    I keep trying to login to my previous subscription from other devices, or subscribe again but I get an error about a test account, and needing to make a new account in the sandbox environment. Hopefully they'll fix this bc it's preventing me from using it. It was great before getting a new phone!

  • Beautiful app, but can't look up words

    by jy4pa

    Can we have the dictionary look up function built in during next update? Thanks.

  • Great magazine and app

    by califsun

    I'm a print subscriber, so have not experienced the problems of those with only digital subscriptions. The app works very well, and does not crash or cause problems. I've been using it for over a year. The magazine is even more beautiful on the IPad and has a lot more content than the print version. It's my favorite digital magazine. I recommend the magazine to everyone I know who has an IPad.

  • Wow ! Great digital magazine !

    by Mee22two

    Subscribed to National Geographic and was amazed at the quality digital content. HD photos, video, etc etc.

  • Horizontal view only?

    by Zadranka

    Really??? Other than that, it is great.

  • Overwhelmingly beautiful!

    by cliffeee

    Beautiful but sometimes glitchy.

  • Hi3333333333333

    by Hi4154444444544444544454545


  • Still no iPhone 5/5s screen size support?

    by YF T

    Are you sure

  • Great magazine and app

    by joyaehueso

    The digital issues add a lot of excellent interactive features to what comes in the printed edition. As a downside, the digital issues are huge, at over 200mb, and they take a while to download, which is noticeable as the app must remain in the foreground the whole time.

  • Fair app but no sharing

    by Jh387

    Frankly this is a functional app. But we want to share what amazes us, we want to put down notes. Recommend sharing outlet: email, Facebook, Evernote... Yeah, copyright might be an issue, but what works better than words of mouth in marketing?

  • It's really good except for:

    by Jose Duran

    Awesome magazine. What is silly to me is that it can only be viewed in landscape mode. I want to be able to use this app in portrait mode... Just like the magazine.

  • Beautiful app, lots of extra content!

    by Gnarldan05

    I just love this app. All the videos and extra features just make the magazine come alive - wish I had downloaded this sooner.

  • Still Buggy

    by djvonloh

    Since the last update, can't download anything. I want my money back.

  • Terrible iPhone optimization

    by B.L. Scott

    Despite the iPhone's small screen (relative to the iPad's), the app still only allows for page-by-page—not continuous—scrolling. Adding to this app's problems is its lack of full optimization for iPhone, and especially for iPhone 5/5s (black bars appear at the bottom and top of the screen within issues). As a side note, the audio recordings of the articles—while, in theory, an excellent feature—do not play unless your iPhone/iPad screen is on, which renders them rather useless. Why would I want to listen to an article when reading it would use just as much battery?

  • Poorly Designed

    by Akendall3

    5 star content, 1 star app. Sluggish controls make you wish you were reading the print version instead.

  • Almost Good

    by cghtgtcgt,chyhy

    If I were rating the content, they would have 5 stars, but I'm rating the app, so they get 2. Nice inclusion of video and high def photos, but they should not offer the articles to be read out loud. It's poorly executed and really frustrating. The voice player will inevitable cut out in the middle of an article and when you must restart from the beginning. There's no scrolling or even basic user controls like pause. Pathetic job, nat geo.

  • Support

    by ChuckK987

    Horrible technical support. Their 800 number doesn't even work. It's very surprising that such an excellent magazine is so poorly supported. I am a print subscriber, and they would be hard pressed to make it more difficult for me to view the magazine on my iPad.

  • So disappointed

    by Reneee'

    Paid subscription today for digital - app shows that it was purchased but not showing app on iPad. Keeps taking me to the single monthly purchase page asking me to buy this again!! Called the number sent in email confirming purchase and access. Guess what - does not even state it is national geo just some. Random message to leave a message! Agree get a professional to fix this or no money from me. Been geo scriber for 45 yrs. Can't find a way to cancel. I what a mess.

  • Terrible AP

    by MeMa Says

    I just paid for an annual digital subscription, and after following the directions, I can view only the "sample" issue. When I try to log on for my digital subscription, I am prompted to log in for the print edition. When it comes to iPad, I am not a neophyte. Eventually I am hopeful this will work, but for now, I am unimpressed with the technology interface.

  • Whoever designed this app should be fired

    by Jonas_Rock!!

    Five star to the original content, and 0 star to the app. The correct magazine name should be "Extracting Forever....". For every new issue, I have to delete and download the app again. Are you serious?

  • Still extracting?!

    by Kayla Raney

    First of all, I absolutely love NatGeo--amazing visuals and first-class articles! At first I was even more in love than ever because of the iPad experience. The videos and extra features in the app really take the magazine to the next level. When it works, this app is worth every penny. BUT My new issues keep getting stuck on "Extracting" and the only way to access new issues appears to be to delete the app and re-download it--very frustrating! Please please PLEASE fix this otherwise excellent app! Frankly, I would be willing to pay a little extra for an app I could rely on to download new content! Please fix!

  • Talk about clunky

    by AguaJefe

    I am a print subscriber. In the latest issue, NG promoted an online video related to one of their stories. “Download the app to see” they said. Well, I had to figure out which web address to go to (not the one in the story, but one on my mailing label”, then hunt around to create an account. After that, the app mainly wanted my to download issues. There was a separate button for “current print subscribers” to “download additional online features”, but that sent me in an endless loop of “confirm account”. You would think an organization that funds explorers journeying to the remote corners of the world could get a friggin’ app working properly. Love the magazine, hate the app.

  • Great magazine, good content, horrible problems with download

    by andriig

    I like NG. And I like this application ... well, when it works. Most of the time it has serious problems with downloading issues and it is slow even on 20 MBit line. Well, it it crashes time to time. Quite frustrating experience for potentially great app.

  • My Worst Purchase in a LONG Time

    by UnhappyCamper789

    The digital edition has huge files, 450 mb for the Jan 2014 issue. If you have a slow or moderate speed internet connection count on wasting a lot of time trying to get a "magazine" to download. If your connection is interrupted, you get to start all over. Even getting the app installed was a pain. I have yet to download a single magazine so its proven to be a complete waste of time and money. A question to customer support took 2 weeks to get a generic response that didn't answer my question.

  • Superb contents, awful (and slow!) app experience

    by Yogi10285

    I have been an NG magazine subscriber for long. Ever since I got my iPad a few years ago, I have stopped my print subscription and gotten the iTunes subscription. When the app is working fine, it is terrific. Great animations, photos look unbelievable, and the overall experience is great. Why the two stars, then? In one word, "extracting". Every two or three months, I get this experience with the app where that month's issue shows "extracting". Normally, it says "download" and while it does take long to download an issue due to the big size of the file, it gets done in a few minutes. Not when the dreaded "extracting" comes up. Then, no matter how long you keep the app open it never downloads. The only issue? Delete the app and re-download it from iTunes, and then try to download the issue. As you can imagine, this gets tiresome. I am hoping the designers of this app read this review (there is at least one other that mentions the exact same problem) and fix it, so that the app lives up to the high standards of the magazine.

  • Downloads unreliable since ios7

    by Mumsy4681

    After update in September couldn't download October and November issues because it said extracting. The last update to the app fixed that and those issues could be downloaded along with December, but January's issue is now stuck on extracting and can't be viewed. February seems ok. Previous contact with customer support was no help.

  • Mmmmmmmmm

    by The wizard11345

    It glitches my ipad

  • Fix the screen ratio pls!!

    by B1llo

    It is weird how National Geographic does not have the inertia to fix its magazine ratio on iphone! Why is the a black space above and below? I usually read my magazines on iphone. Which made me eventually unsubscribe to NG because it is irritating to read it on iphone. Please fix this issue. It taking you too much time.


    by golfpro5


  • What's going on?

    by Dykhed

    It won't load, been weeks now, keeps saying "EXTRACTING" yet it's doing nothing! FIX IT!


    by Dr.EyePod

    Favorite app now dysfunctional. Cannot view 2nd to "Extracting"-- no apparent fix and no response from app support!

  • Magazine great, app awful

    by Margaret Mitchell

    I wish I'd read these before I paid the extra money for a digital subscription. It is impossible to access!

  • Worst Nightmare

    by SouthPoleCat

    The new issues keep coming, but I cannot find a way to unsubscribe. The NG does not apprear as subscriptions on the iTunes or the iPad. The iPad App "settings" is useless - no account info or subscription status review option.

  • Going around in circles

    by Prospect John

    That's it in a nutshell... Going around in circles trying to log in and getting nowhere. Downloaded the so-called "app", but there is no app. Found the current issue in my newsstand, but it just takes you to a screen that explains how to use the app, which doesn't exist (grrrrrrrr). Failed log in attempts with correct login information. Called the 800 number on one screen and got United Health Care. Pitiful.

  • Still doesn't support iPhone 5/5s screen

    by garrekds

    The app is great on my iPad, but really needs to be updated for the larger screen size on the iPhone.

  • Extracting....

    by Racizx6r

    And extracting, oh, yeah and extracting. I love reading on my iPad while traveling and NG is an AMAZING magazine on it! But I am seeing a few more problems as of late. While more features is nice, I think I can do without many of the bells and whistles in lieu of relialability and renewal control. Now, that said, I have been a NG member since I was very young and have no inclination to stop now, I just hope to have these issues fixed soon so I can go back to enjoying the award winning journalism without interruption. Thank You. TWW

  • No account support? Really?

    by artistreview

    Just updated and found that I cannot renew my subscription (yes trying to pay them more money!) in the iPad app - somehow both the account or store sections do not offer this option! Not only is this frustrating for the customers, but they. May be losing business. Unless I was already signed up for automatic renewal, but how could I check - or cancel for that matter? Retina display is nice and all but let's get some basic functionality! Don't detract from the amazing content.

  • I can't download magazines?

    by gigem15

    On several issues, an error pops up saying I can't download. FIX!

  • Bad upgrade

    by Whitfoto

    Since revamping the app, I've not been able to open one issue. They all are either no longer on my iPad and need to be redownloaded or they just sit there with the message "extracting". Have yet to be able to read ANY issue, current or past. HORRIBLE . If ain't broke, don't fix it! I rate this "R" for refund.

  • Horrible for such a great magazine, auto charge renewal without permission

    by OliverWDahl

    National Geographic is great. This is not. Every issue is hundreds of MB in size, so if you're planning on having a library of issues with you, it's gonna take a lot of hard drive space. "Special features" are nice, but I'd rather just have a PDF copy of issues to read through, save some money, and hardrive space. I bought a subscription for Christmas last year. Sometime last summer, I deleted the app due to my above-mentioned complaints. I forgot all about it. Today, I got an email receipt from the App Store saying that 20$ had just been spent on an automatic renewal subscription that I hadn't asked for. I am, needless to say, peeved. Apple says that no refund is available, but I will call stomper service tomorrow. I suggest you purchase a print subscription instead.the digital version is utter crap.

  • Subscription fraud

    by TiredNat123

    Be aware that the app sneaks an automatic subscription renewal on you. There is no way to find out your subscription status, cancel it through the app, or decline the renewal. They don't ask for a password, just charge your account.

  • Crashes

    by Joshua Ascencio

    This app doesn't work at all please fix.

  • Stuck on "extracting" again

    by IrishBuffalo

    Once again I cannot download the latest edition. The message is, "extracting", but no line appears indicating that it is doing so. Also crashes periodically. Enjoy reading it when it works.


    by Kharve

    Every time it's updated you will need to re-download gigabytes of previously downloaded issues! All downloaded issues disappear.

  • Awful on line experince

    by Glynn_E

    What a mess! "Buy the print plus digital subscription, download the app and log in".....if only. On no account buy a digital subscription because any app you download will only have a "subscribe for more money" button. I have an email telling me to download the app and log in - Id like to. Yet I can log in to the archive on a PC. They have no clue on how to implement consumer friendly authentication. Keep canceling your subscription until they get this right. I order and pay for digital content I expect to get it immediately. How hard can this concept be? The PC archive reader is dreadful btw.

  • Too Complicated

    by WarehamPunter

    There is no way to zero in on the precise status of one's account. There is an item that purports to show subscription status and then a whole series of magazines for different months that were supposedly purchased. That has little, if any, value.

  • Problems with downloads

    by NI7F

    I love Nat. Geo. And this app is nice but has a serious flaw. To download an issue you have to have the application open and you can NOT view an already downloaded issue while downloading a new issue or earlier issue. It is really quite frustrating to have to click on download/view and then you have to wait until that issue is completely downloaded. Why oh way can't you download all purchased issues in the background? Someone needs to address this problem.

  • National geographic magazine

    by vireo17

    App is very poor, takes forever to load magazine issues. I'll stick to the printed version.

  • Avoid until updated!

    by Sluggo23

    I've enjoyed NG, and would have given a glowing review up until last month, but the most recent update is terrible and sloppily implemented. I'm unable to read an issue now without an Internet connection (even if its downloaded), the menu bar is inconsistent and glitchy, and you can't give feedback via the app because some bright bulb hasn't coded in a keyboard to type in your info. If this isn't fixed soon, I'll be asking for a refund.

  • Dr.

    by leohart2000

    I don't know what's going on, but after I subscribe full access version on natgeo web, the username and pass can be used to access web archive, but on iphone, it just keeps telling authentication failed... Annoyed...

  • Won't allow me to sign in.

    by Francesca8719

    I paid for the All Access package. Neither the App nor the website will allow me to sign in or create a new password. I've tried using my account number to sign in, but it rejects my zip code. I know that the email and the pw are correct because it will allow me to sign into the archive website. Please fix this!

  • Poor download service

    by Tommy477

    Since I subscribed, I'm having problems downloading every new issue, tried removing the app and installing it again, but still same problem. Please National Geographic update the app and make it more useable.

  • Update for iPhone 5

    by Anonymous41909

    Makes the ipad totally worth it just for this

  • Beware!! Does not work on iPad

    by It's That Guy

    I mean it's been a few revisions and this piece of cr(app) doesn't work still on iPad. Unbelievable!! Lazy programmers need to get their butts in gear and fix this or I will cancel.

  • Serious flaws

    by Wanderson5250

    I love this reader and have subscribed to the print magazine for decades as well as given it as gifts to all my family members. BUT the most recent digital issue drove me crazy with a pop up window that couldn't be removed even by my trying to do what it asked even though I didn't want to do it. I ended up having to resubscribe even though I had a subscription. The pop up wanted me to register for something; but I'm not sure what. It appeared when I tried to link to the extended story from NG News items And when I got the receipt by email it didn't say I'd subscribed to the digital edition; I don't know if I renewed, subscribed to a print or digital or took out a new subscription. I tried to find a way to communicate my ire to NG print or dig couldn't find a way including from my print edition I hope you soon remedy these infuriating flaws.

  • I've given up

    by DLVolunteer

    Yes I love the magazine but their continual issues with the app are too frustrating to deal with. I'll check in a year or two, maybe they will have figured it out by then. And BTW, if you know you have issues admit them, the support staff is more about denial than helping you.

  • can't use

    by Sir Adan

    So many adds!

  • Does not always work

    by Lawnin

    I paid a subscription renewal and then had difficulties down loading issues. The app says the issue is "Extracting" but it never arrives. But when it works its great ... Conde Nast is head and shoulders above most magazines on iPad. Unfiortunately, for the time being it's unuseable

  • I'm paying for this, you know....

    by Nerf1225

    App is totally broken and has been for a few updates now. Nothing will download/open. Can't archive anything. Over a gig of storage now on my iPad for NOTHING. You're not Joe Schmoe in his basement writing apps. You're National Geographic!! You seriously cannot be this incompetent. To keep charging while not delivering for this long borders on fraud. Fix this. Fire everyone and start over if you have to. Don't make me quit you.

  • Broke a great app!

    by JimFeet

    Nat Geo, you've totally broken a great app! Recent upgrades now prevent me from downloading issues and reading them later. I used to download issues and save them for later reading. AND I used to refer back to previous issues on occasion. Today, that's not possible. I can only read one issue and I have to download it in real time before I read it. I live in a rural area and downloading on demand is simply not realistic. I suspect I will cancel my N.G. subscription… Unless you're prepared to stream each version as you read it, don't bother with this application.

  • Bogus

    by Kenny Smith

    Purchased the $19.99 one year subscription and cannot access anything with out being charged again the $4.99 per issue! Major ripoff, and I expected better from Nat Geo.

  • Ugh!

    by Tripster88

    Just purchased print and digital at what I thought was a great deal... Tried the app on my iPad can't open any magazines, wants $5.00 for them. Anyone know what to do? FAQ is no help at all! Should have read reviews first...

  • Nat Geo rip-off

    by Waste of good ??

    $20 and magazine won't download. Shame on you. How do I get my money back?

  • Content great, user interface dreadful

    by ChloeSand

    I couldn’t use the word I really wanted to use to describe the painful process of getting my NG magazine issues loaded on my new iPad Air. Excruciating. Nearly every other publication that I have in Newstand just worked on my new device effortlessly. Not NG magazine. You have to redownload each and every issue manually. While this is happening, there are inexplicable pauses that happen and you have to click a “resume” button. It will take forever to download these issues, so I probably just won’t do it. The other newsstand app that seems to have implemented by those who just had to reinvent the wheel is Consumer’s Reports. I will have to wait until a new print issue arrives just to enter the acct. # on my iPad. Pathetic.

  • What is going on?

    by sjemmett

    I expect better from NG. The November issue, the one about the storm chaser, will not download. The app consistently fails and the screen returns to the news stand. You read the tech notes on the NG website, and it strongly suggests that the problem is with Apple?! This has been going on for a week. What gives, NG?

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