So what’s the deal?
PressReader is an app (for iPhone, iPad, Android, Honeycomb, Blackberry, PC/Mac, although I only used the iPad version) that lets you read tons (and I do mean tons) of newspapers from all around the world. It’s quite impressive how many titles — and countries — are covered, and although I only really checked for Canada (where I’m originally from), I’m assuming that most major newspapers from all over the world are included.
Who made it?
It was produced by NewspaperDirect, who appears to work exclusively on this app.
Why would I want to get this?
Because you want to read a proper newspaper, and don’t have access to the print edition. Sure, we currently live in a world where most newspapers have a website that includes all of its articles, but this is an app that downloads the full edition of a ridiculous amount of newspapers, and the main view really does make you feel like you’re taking in that day’s paper, with full page views.
What am I going to find inside?
You’ll find a rather impressive number of newspapers from all over the world — its promotional website states 2100+, and I believe them. So for those of you — I refer to “us” expats around the world — who prefer to have access to a full print edition of a newspaper from back home instead of just accessing a website, this is really the best (and affordable) option you’ll find. I remember the days where you could find certain places (in Tokyo, it was at Tower Records) that would sell print-on-demand editions of papers from around the world, but now with tablets, PressReader makes that service feel unecessary — unless you really miss the sensation of having ink on your fingers (and I think those POD editions didn’t even give you that).
So how do you read this thing, anyway?
Once you’re in a particular edition of a paper, you can read each page by zooming in, or you can view it in a mode that lets you tap on an article title, which brings up that article in a new window, to make it easier to read. In a way, it’s not unlike what you experience when reading a magazine on Zinio.
What were they thinking?
For what it does, I can’t really find much fault. I certainly don’t think that it even comes close to competing with a dedicated tablet edition — like the stellar The Guardian app on iPad — but if you want access to a local newspaper that just doesn’t have the resources (or desire) to produce a proper app, this is the solution for you.
Bottom line, should I buy this?
You should buy it if you fall in the category described in the previous point. The pricing is good — about $1 for a single edition of a title, or a monthly $30 payment for access to everything — and there still is something satisfying about seeing a full newspaper page layout.