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Playboy's Pics Are Coming to iPad, Despite Apple's Anti-Porn Rules

Playboy Archives for iPad

Users will soon have access to all of this on the iPad (Playboy)

Don't just read the articles -- Playboy's eye-popping pics are coming to the iPad.

This March, the entire Playboy catalog will be made available for the iPad in all its uncensored glory -- photo spreads, centerfolds and all -- magazine founder Hugh Hefner confirmed on Twitter

"Big news! Playboy -- both old & new -- will be available on iPad beginning in March," Hefner tweeted on his official feed. "The iPad version of Playboy will include the whole magazine from the first issue to the latest.”

Hefner made explicit what users of the app would see: “Playboy on iPad will be uncensored,” he said. The men's magazine will be produced by digital magazine publisher Bondi Digital, which admitted that it was powering the eye-popping iPad app. 

"I can confirm that we are in development with them," Bondi co-founder David Anthony told FoxNews.com. "You'll be able to access [Playboy] via the browser in your tablet and use the same password to access it on your computer" -- where you'll be able see far, far more than just the stories.

The announcement comes out of left field, given Apple’s notorious censorship policy. The company has a range of restrictions on apps to eliminate content it deems explicit, such as pornography, gambling, drugs and even file-sharing. Apple claims the right to reject any app that it feels is in violation of its terms of services.

Some have speculated that Apple was rethinking this policy, in the wake of the announcement by CEO Steve Jobs that he was taking time off to focus on his health. When contacted by FoxNews.com, Apple declined to comment. 

Playboy spokesman Theresa Hennessey clarified Hefner's statement, telling FoxNews.com that the comely centerfolds and sensual snaps from the magazine won't be available in an iPad app after all.

"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. The service will be iPad-compatible and will utilize iPad functions," Hennessey said. 

But never fear, loyal readers! Hennessey revealed that Playboy's engineers “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.”

Hefner’s somewhat misleading statements highlight a loophole in Apple’s closed ecosystem: the fine line that separates the iPad experience through an app from the experience of a website tailor-made for tablets -- which Apple has limited editorial control over.

Those seeking Playboy's titillating photos will access Bondi's custom website, not the app, which will -- of course -- be censored. The closed system is unfortunate, Anthony said, preventing an entire class of VERY visual magazines from reaching consumer eyeballs on the glossy digital screen. 

"The thing that I think is so fascinating about tablets is that the user experience is very natural for turning pages and zooming in on them," he told FoxNews.com. Apple's editorial control over apps "prevents certain kinds of magazines from going through that outlet," he noted.

That's where Bondi comes in. Anthony hopes that with his company’s technology, the power to choose now once again lies in the hands of the consumer.

“The idea from our perspective was to get in as much of that functionality as humanly possible, via the web app we’re creating,” Anthony said. The underlying technology is already being used to archive the Playboy catalog online as well as other print magazines such as Rolling Stone. 

Bondi is currently working on switching from the Microsoft Silverlight platform to HTML 5 to ensure that the site will work smoothly on the iPad come the March launch.

"I think that consumers will ultimately decide what content they want," he said. "We feel it's our job to make it as accessible as possible for Playboy readers.”