Believe me I am one of those people who uses Google Currents, AP Mobile, Pulse and various other news aggregate apps to get the latest headlines online. Despite this I found that I missed having a local paper, I missed the detailed articles and specifically the more local news around the cities I cared about most. Online news on Google News can lack a local appeal and I still liked print papers for some occasions.
PressReader is the best of both worlds in my opinion, this app which supports way more than just iPad, iPhone but also has Windows App, Android Phone App, Blackberry App and Honeycomb app specifically basically scans over 2,300+ physical newspapers to make them digital and available to read on your mobile phone or tablet.
You can also find papers for so many countries it is almost mind boggling, you simply search for the paper you want to download and read. First by filtering which country papers you want to browse.
Then you get to pick the newspaper that is offered in that Country and then select which day/edition of the paper you want to download.
Save time and download a whole bunch of papers and let them fill up your wall (which reminds me of the bookshelf type of application showing your paper subscriptions).
So I downloaded and experimented with the LA Times first, and the text is very clear and easy to read. Some papers have hyperlinked headlines but many do not and are like reading a true physical paper without any links in the articles except for the navigation bar at the bottom to go between pages and the links to zoom, clip…etc.
I found I can read larger and more complete articles, but like with most papers some of the news can be yesterday’s news in a fast paced digital world.
Still for editorials, and paper features you really expect and don’t easily find duplication online the PressReader app is fantastic and does exactly one thing perfectly, that is bring your physical newspapers onto your tablet or phone screen so you don’t have to thumb through physical paper any longer.
Some papers had full color photos, others were all black and white and others had links as I mentioned. One thing I found that was truly impressive was the listen and translate options where the page would become a web like formatted version where the text is even easier to read and reminds me more of a typical web based reader. I found inconsistency in the listen function, on some articles they were perfectly read by either a man or woman reader and in some articles they were just a computerized voice reading monotonously the words without any regard for sentence structure. Still many of the articles were read by a live human and were vibrant and fresh to listen to, this could be a good way to queue up an article and listen to it while you are busy working on something and just want to listen instead of read yourself.
The PressReader Application allows you to purchase newspapers directly for .99 cents an issue or you can get a monthly subscription $30.00 per month which gives you access to 14 back issues. If you need a corporate account with access to many more back issues then it costs more for a subscription. Note if you read just 1 paper per day every day it is better to do the monthly subscription as then you can read dozens of papers for the price of $1 per day. It is cheaper to get the .99 paper than the Sunday edition which is normally $2.00 anyway except you don’t get the physical coupons that come with a physical Sunday paper. PressReader also has the option to automatically subscribe and download all new editions of your favorite paper, though I recommend this only if you have the monthly subscription and are not paying the price per issue which may leave you with charges you didn’t want.
Finally the cleanup is important and you can configure PressReader to auto remove downloaded papers after 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, 30 days or never. I found that it is about 400mb for 7 editions average in my testing, so unless you have a 64GB device you probably don’t want to keep more than 7-14 days of 1 subscription, if you have multiple daily subscriptions you probably want to clean them every 3 days or 7 days at least. Never is the default setting and you probably want to change that pretty quick when you first install and start using the PressReader application.
I was very impressed with PressReader on the iPad and if you want to read physical newspapers because you want longer, detailed articles, editorials and all the information that comes from print editions then PressReader is the right app for you.
Disclaimer: PressReader provided me with a subscription trial of the application so that I could do a proper review which included downloading several different papers, testing all functionality and testing the auto subscribe features.