Android digital magazine service is nigh

n Android alternative to Apple’s recently launched iPad magazine service is expected very soon.

Every major player still left in the print journalism business has found a deal with the iPad and other digital reading devices. The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc, have all embraced the new technology, and Time Inc has a deal but does not offer any sort of digital access without a corresponding print subscription.

However, Android users don’t have anywhere near the same kind of media access to digitized publications. That may soon change, as new reports say seven major print publications are ready to launch Android versions.

For now, though, it looks like the service will be extremely limited. A new Android-based magazine subscription service is being tested on tablet devices only, and only those powered by Verizon’s mobile network. All of the billing and content delivery will be handled by Verizon, not Android.

Esquire, Popular Mechanics, Fortune, Time, The New Yorker, Fitness, and Parents are all reportedly ready to ink a deal with the new service, and may be ready to launch as early as next week.

So far, Google has said very little on the market of digital magazines and newspapers, though it’s clear that publishers cannot rely solely on the iPad.