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CTIA Buzz: Mobile Magazines Remade, Only for Nokia Lumia

At CTIA, the wireless communications convention in Las Vegas, one of the hottest mobile apps isn't new—Zinio's magazine reading app has been around for a dozen years and has 12 million registered users. But a new version, designed exclusively for Nokia's Lumia Windows Phone 8, makes the most of that phone's capabilities and drives more user engagement.

Zinio aims to make the best of magazines available to consumers on the go, by presenting recommendations based on users' interests across 5,500 magazines. Fans of certain titles—from Elle and Shape to Maxim and Harvard Business Review—can pay to download one magazine or subscribe to an individual title.

Last week the company announced a new "Z-Pass" subscription format, allowing readers to access three magazines for $5 per month, with the option of swapping titles up to three times per month.

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The new app made exclusively for the Nokia Lumia has a couple of new features. A suggested "reading list" offers users a stream of selected articles from a range of magazines. And these reading lists automatically update when a phone or tablet is connected to a mobile device, so when it's offline, say on a plane, users can still read.

And the app works with Windows Phone 8 "tiles"—which effectively allow users to bookmark articles, or pin pieces they want to read to their phone's home page, to follow up later. And the phone is designed to be more readable, even in the sun. Zinio's new text mode changes in bright daylight to make text more readable and keep the screen glare-free.

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Zinio President Michelle Bottomley said this kind of customization for a phone like the Nokia Lumia is exactly what the company needs to do to reach new consumers and increase the time consumers spend on the site. That should drive revenue from subscriptions and downloads—Zinio splits it with magazine publishers.

And relationships like this one with the Nokia Lumia should help Zinio add more magazines.

_ By CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.