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The Playboy Android app: It really is (mostly) about the articles

Ed. note: This review originally was published in May 2014. We're floating it back up amid the news that Playboy's print magazine is doing away with its nude photos.

In another life, some 15 years ago, I had a subscription to Playboy. As in the magazine. I'd returned home from the University of Florida, moved out of my parents' house and in with a few friends and, well, why not. I was a bachelor in my early 20s. It was time to do something (else) Mom and Dad (well, Mom, certainly) wouldn't approve of.

A couple things I remember from that era:

  1. The nudie pics all sort of looked the same. No real long-term gratification there, ya know, at least when it came to the nameless, airbrushed pictures. (Known celebrities was another matter, though. I'll never forget that first magazine that arrived, with Brooke Burke, and we'll never let the one roommate live down hoarding the issue with Belinda Carlisle, who was north of 40 when she posed — twice our age.)
  2. Never mind the timeless "I read Playboy for the articles" line — there truly was (and continues to be) some fantastic writing in there.

I'm married now. (To a woman 6 years older than me and who's also north of 40, which is just one reason why I'm smiling as I'm writing this, thinking back to that Belinda Carlisle issue. But I digress.) I have two daughters. That old stash of Playboys has long since been tossed out. (If I remember correctly, my friends and I had some sort of ceremony. Perhaps even a viking funeral pyre. But we matured.)

And now we have an official Playboy app on Android (opens in new tab).

It's a softer side of the seminal men's magazine

Let's just get this out of the way: You'll not find any real nudity in this app. Frankly, it's not too much beyond what you might get from any one of those cheesy bro magazines that gained popularity in the late 1990s. That explains how the app's available in Google Play. If you're looking for out and out porn, look elsewhere.

Here's what you do get: An attractive app with easy navigation (though it relies a little too much on the back button for my taste) that serves up a tease of the girls (who sooner rather than later will end up being young enough to be my kid — a thought I'll continue to shove aside for as long as possible) alongside a good bit of that excellent written content.

Playboy Android app

The video splash screen is a nice touch, leading you in to a simple menu system. Scroll through "Latest" (in which you'll find more words, and some pictures — which is updated daily and includes features from Me in My Place, which we've featured here before. "The Good Life" brings more art and food and culture into the mix. "The Articles" is ... wait for it ... articles from the current month's issue. "Girls" is a smattering of women in various NSFW but also SFGP (that'd be safe for Google Play, as in nothing that you couldn't show on cable TV) undress.

And "The Vault" — marked by an old-school pic of Hef himself — is where you'll find your saved content. That is, you'll find content from previous months that you can unlock for $1.99 each via an in-app purchase (which you also get to through The Vault), and any stories that you've bookmarked. You can download individual pictures as well, but they end up in your storage file structure (sdcard>pictures>playboy) at a smartphone-standard resolution.

If you've never actually read Playboy, now's your chance

So Playboy with no nudity? What good is that? Depends on what your expectations are, I suppose. For me, it's access to the articles in a more acceptable manner (as in not in a web browser, and without magazines laying around to confuse my daughters). The price isn't horrible either — the app is free, and subscriptions run $1.99 a month, or $11.99 if you do a year at a time. And it's done right — all through Google Play. No having to enter your information somewhere else.

And at this stage of my life, that's good enough.

  • I'll be the first to say it. Where's my PENTHOUSE app?!!!
  • Haha right, PB is weak sauce. Wheres the high society or buttman Posted via the Android Central App
  • The only PB I ever bought was the Vida Guerra issue, before she became this fitness guru and lost her curves. Good lawd Posted via the Android Central App
  • Those shots of Vida used to rotate as the background on my computer. Thick!!!
  • Definitely didn't lose her curves. But then again I also don't like fat chicks.
  • The first few paragraphs of this article were the funniest things I have read this week xD
    Great article, Phil!
  • This is why i like reading Phil's articles! That was funny , and I really liked it lmfao!! Posted via Android Central App
  • I never minded the airbrushing. Playboy pictorials were all about fantasy, and fantasy is something detached from reality. Yet for the last decade or so, their editors have been obsessed with tattoos.
    Femjoy is the new Playboy, yet it only exists online. The models are almost always outdoors - posing by lakes, river banks, in the woods, etc. They rarely have even one stitch of clothing. And they're almost invariably depicted in full form, from head to toe. Oh yeah, and no tattoos. Ever. Period.
    However, these characteristics are only applicable to the first seven or eight years {the site is now just over ten}. The last couple years are beneath notice. For me, anyway. There's been a big influx of amateur photographers who know zilch about taking good pictures. Totally ruined the place! Except for the several hundreds galleries that date prior to their great ruination.
    X-9 = 2B^3
  • Tattoos are popular, especially in the group Playboy's models come from. It's not surprising to see them in the magazine, and they never use heavily tattooed girls.
  • So if you have real girls and good news articles to read already, this app is useless, right? Posted via Android Central App
  • From time to time PB has good interview articles. Heck I'd read the articles if theyre good, PB is like the Fisher price of spank mags. Shit u pin up in mechanic garages Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wait there are articles? Posted via Android Central App
  • Haven't tried it, and won't. In my opinion, "done right" would be a Play Newsstand version.
  • Which would not be allowed in Google Play and thus not reach nearly the people Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX
  • Actually the Newsstand version will soon be the Android version. No More Nudes.... Wait... .These... Post.. are a YEAR old...
  • Google Nanny is getting old. I'm still peeved they made Moderate safe search mandatory, and there still is no way to Turn Off safe search, and it doesn't just filter out porn but actually censors the internet.
  • Wow! Internet porn is basically becoming inescapable. Pathetic Posted via Android Central App
  • So don't download it. Problem solved.
  • Which part of 'there is no porn' was hard to understand?
  • Mom... Is that you? ಠ益ಠ
  • Lol Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5
  • You say that like it is a bad thing?
  • -1 Posted via Android Central App on the Nexus 5
  • Acelucero, it doesn't sound like you read the article. That's kinda pathetic.
  • Paul Avocado I stand corrected. Posted via Android Central App
  • I wasn't feeling good when I made that statement a year ago. Forgive me LoL Dam It's Feels Good To Be A Google Gangster
  • What's it like Being a Puritan? This country was founded with Puritans, none of them around anymore, yet we still have to follow their lifestyle?
  • Has I get older and my knees pop and I go to bed a little earlier each year I do love the reading about "back in the day".
  • Wowww...
    Don't tell my wife...
  • It's just so 1970's.
  • Some reviews are just easier to write than others. Right Phil? :)
  • I assume this isn't available on iOS. ಠ益ಠ
  • Why would you assume that? Playboy for iPhone
  • Color me surprised.
  • Despite the "Android is for porn" jokes, Google Play doesn't really allow apps any racier than iTunes does.
  • Go Gators! Posted via Android Central App
  • Chomp! Chomp! Posted via Android Central App
  • Damn gators. Go Seminoles!
  • From the man who lives in Tallahassee and has for 32 years now, just let me say.....GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Yes, Irish! Go! Please! :-D
  • 22 comments and nobody has pointed out the excellent double entendre of "the seminal men's magazine"? Bravo, Phil. Bravo!
  • Ik I saw too it was funny. Posted via the Android Central App
  • "girls (who sooner rather than later will end up being young enough to be my kid — a thought I'll continue to shove aside for as long as possible)" <sigh> Reminds me of the time I went to Hooters and realized the amazing looking blonde waitress that caught my eye was actually one of my daughters' friends all through school. :(
  • Ouch.
  • The wife's over 40 Phil? Really you just said that? I see cold hotdogs and sleeping on the couch in your know just like 15 years ago :-) fasthair
  • I read Android Central for the articles.
  • LMAO!!! XD
  • lol. I just come here for the phone porn.
  • The girl in the first picture would be SO much more attractive without that stupid gun tattoo.
  • She has a tattoo ? Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • If only there was a way to look at nude women on a phone without using this app.
  • BOO-URNS! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Once Hef is gone I think Playboy goes with him.
  • So its now Chive with articles? Huh. Maxim really.
  • I wonder if political correctness had anything to do with this? Maybe it's the fact that internet porn is basically free of you're just looking for nude pictures. Who knows. RIP Playboy...... We had some great times LoL Dam It's Feels Good To Be A Google Gangster
  • People are just going elsewhere for nudity. Playboy does have some nice journalism. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Yeah but now they are really nothing special. We already have enough magazines, and they are dying +++ Insert witty signature, watch as others not get it, profit +++
  • Playboy is outdated. They needed to change. I get my porn for free on a number of sites. Posted via the Android Central App on the Note5.
  • Anyone else notice the oldest comments here are over a year old. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You know how I know you didn't read the article? +++ Insert witty signature, watch as others not get it, profit +++
  • I mean... Not even the first damn paragraph... Guess some people actually just come to AC for the pictures. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol wow
  • Had a subscription once, can't remember when. I remember Brooke Burke. Do NOT remember Belinda Carlise. And yes, the articles and interviews were pretty awesome. In fact, my female writing TA in college referenced articles in the magazine all the time (she was hot enough to pose herself). But I digress. Yah the over glamorized and airbrushed images are definitely dated and won't be missed. Hugh did always manage to find the stupid pretty girls though. No Playboy app for me though (no matter how cleaned up). Wife and five year old son with too much access to my phone for that.
  • Now that Playboy is no longer gonna have nude women in its magazine it will ONLY be about the Articles. The end of an era.
  • Might as well change the name. Playboy without nudity just doesn't sound right. I don't think I've ever read an article in Playboy.
  • Didn't know there was an app. All those sticking pages....
  • They could've waited to make this change until after they had Christina Aguilera or Mariah Carey pose Posted via the Android Central App
  • It would be cool if they had an app that would show past issues of "Playboy Classic," instead of the New Coke version. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wife got me the hard cover "50 years of Playboy". It's a good overview of everything Playboy has had. A coffee table book lol
  • I honestly would have that out if I had the type of house that it would fit with. Dogs run and decorate my house... +++ Insert witty signature, watch as others not get it, profit +++
  • I don't keep it out in the living room or anything, I have a tween year old daughter. But my 18 year old son.....hey now! Lol. It's actually a pretty classy book.
  • Lol +++ Insert witty signature, watch as others not get it, profit +++
  • Hey with respect--I really don't see how you can make any comment about gender equality in the tech industry and publish this "article" at the same time.
  • Why? +++ Insert witty signature, watch as others not get it, profit +++