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Monday, April 01, 2013, 07:33 am PT (10:33 am ET)

New subscription-based Playboy app for iOS skirts porn rules by leaving the skirts on

As landmark men's magazine Playboy lands on Apple's iPhone in the form of a new subscription-based app, it will bring a little something extra in its new incarnation: namely, clothes.

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The Articles: A major draw according to some Playboy readers.


Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously described the iPad and iOS platform as "freedom from porn," which may allow parents to breathe a sigh of relief, but doesn't help magazines like Playboy, which has for more than half a century made its money pushing pictures of scantily clad and nude women. Given Apple's noted vigilance in preventing any pornographic content from making it onto iOS screens through the App Store, the magazine's editors had to take a different route when developing the just-launched iPhone app.

"It forces us to use our imagination to be a little bit more creative," Playboy's Josh Schollmeyer, Director of Digital Content, told USA Today. "I tell all my photographers every picture has to be one of three things. It has to be romantic, whimsical, or sexy."

The resulting, tamer app contains no nudity, with models wearing much more than they otherwise would under the Playboy banner. There are a number of pictorial categories — including Playmate Redux, God Given Gorgeous, Miss Social, and the celebrity-focused Me In My Place — but all are decidedly "PG-13" at most, due to Apple's App Store policies.

For those readers who only check the men's monthly for the articles, the new iPhone app carries over much of the editorial content that the magazine has become known for. The app will have monthly exclusive content about The Good Life, as well as in-depth interviews with assorted celebrities. These will be formatted to take advantage of the iPhone's screen and make long-form content easier to read on a small screen.

The new iPhone app isn't Playboy's first go at targeting Apple's platform. In 2011, the company launched an uncensored "iPad app," which was really a digital reproduction of its magazines, formatted for display on Apple's bestselling tablet. That version, though, was just a specialized web page. Hugh Hefner's enterprise had tried to get an iPad app through Apple's approval process, but it was turned down.

Should the new app prove successful, editors say digital users can expect to see more of the magazine on other platforms, as the magazine's editors expect to start rolling out versions for tablets and other smartphones over the next year. However, users might not necessarily wind up seeing more of the models, even when the apps are released outside of Apple's content constraints.

"Just because the (content) controls aren't there on Android," one observer told USA Today, "I wouldn't expect them to go more risqué."

The Playboy iPhone app is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store. The in-app subscription model has three tiers: $2 for 30-day access to unlimited content and downloads, $11 for six months' access, and $20 for a full year's access.

The 13.2-megabyte app is restricted to users 17 years of age and up. It is compatible with iPhones 3GS and up, third-generation iPod touches and up, and iPads. It requires iOS 5.1 or later.