Uncensored Playboy on the iPad sidesteps App Store

Web-based access to complete catalog to use Safari; non-nude version coming as app later

Playboy will land on the iPad in March, but the uncensored version of the adult magazine will not be offered as a native application, the company confirmed today.

Founder Hugh Hefner broke the iPad news via Twitter late Tuesday.

"Big news! Playboy -- both old & new -- will be available on iPad beginning in March," Hefner tweeted . In follow-up tweets, Hefner said that the Playboy's complete catalog would be available on the iPad, and that the issues would be uncensored.

Earlier reports today assumed that the Playboy iPad launch meant Apple had backtracked on its no-nudity clause for all iOS apps.

Not true, said Playboy spokeswoman Theresa Hennessey.

"We are releasing a Web-based subscription service with Bondi Digital Publishing that will give users access to every issue of Playboy both past and present," Hennessey said in an e-mail reply to questions. "The service will be iPad compatible and will utilize iPad functions."

The Web service will be available to iPad users through the tablet's Safari browser.

New York-based Bondi Digital Publishing has digitized the archives of the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Playboy for sale on DVD, and in the case of the last two publications, for online access.

A Playboy application that includes nude photographs would be rejected by Apple, which bars nudity in the iOS applications it distributes through its App Store. iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch applications must gain Apple's approval before they're published to the e-market.

Last April, Apple CEO Steve Jobs made the company's position clear, when during a press conference to announce the iPad he took a shot at rival Google and its Android app store.

"You know, there's a porn store for Android," Jobs said. "You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That's a place we don't want to go, so we're not going to go there."

Down the road, Playboy will submit a censored version of its magazine as an app.

"We also have plans to release a non-nude version of a Playboy-branded iPad app in the coming months that adheres to all of Apple's policies and guidelines," said Hennessey.

Hennessey did not reveal the pricing of the iPad-based access, or when in March the new service would launch.

Currently, access to the online edition of Playboy costs $7.95 per month when billed annually, or $19.95 when billed monthly.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com .

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Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
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