Do you enjoy reading newspapers? Want to save trees by reading digital editions of the paper? Many digital editions of papers already exist but many people still prefer a traditional newspaper experience, not a specially designed version of their favorite publication. An app called PressReader gives users access to over 1700 different publications from 92 different countries for a monthly fee of $29.95 or $.99 for one issue. These are displayed exactly as they would appear on a classic paper edition, complete with ads and front page articles.
All users of the app get 7 free downloads (issues) before having to subscribe or pay $.99 for each additional download.
To find new publications, simply tap the Sources button at the top. The publications are organized by country. It would useful to have an additional categorization by US States. After selecting a publication, there is an option to download just the latest issue or to have the app automatically download new issues as they become available.
There is a very large selection of publications to choose from. You will find some very well known ones such as USA Today and the Washington Post (but not New York Times sadly), as well as lesser known ones. It would be great to see some free local papers, such as Metro, added to the collection in the future.
As mentioned before, the publications are digital scans of the original paper editions.
If you want to focus in on any single article, simply tap on a headline (which is highlighted) and a pop-out window will appear with the article, clearing away all distractions. This mode is called “SmartFlow”. Here, the font can be adjusted and the story can be shared with friends. This provides a reading experience similar to that of regular newspaper apps. In most cases, the whole paper can be read in this view simply by scrolling horizontally.
Long pressing anywhere on an article brings up sharing and saving options. The article can also be rated with a thumbs up/down system.
If you prefer to have articles read to you, there is a narration feature. The sound is great quality, but the voice sounds quite robotic and isn’t always accurate with pronunciation.
I found that the app often lags a bit when scrolling through a publication, but overall, performance on the iPad is decent.
PressReader provides an easy to use newspaper reading experience with both traditional paper views and a clean article reader. If you’re an avid newspaper reader, then the subscription fee of $29.95 monthly is definitely worth it. This app gives you the traditional experience of a paper publication, but without wasting any paper. PressReader is available on multiple different platforms with a single account.
Thank you to NewspaperDirect, Inc. for providing a trial account for this review.
What do you think of PressReader? What are your preferred methods of reading your favorite publications? Share with us in the comments.