[REVIEW] PressReader – News from anywhere, everywhere!
Reviewed on Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000, Android 4.0.4 [ICS])
PressReader is an app that takes the phrase “the world at your finger tips” in the most literal sense. This is THE app for those who consume news on the move, read for leisure on their smart devices and especially for those who travel abroad but still want to stay in touch with news from home. Developed by NewspaperDirect as an offshoot of its online news service PressDisplay.com, PressReader is an app that is quickly becoming the chosen media of acquiring information for people worldwide. Let’s delve into the specifics.
PressReader is easy on the eyes. Vivid reproductions of newspapers delivered sans the creases and pages fluttering in the wind will take you back to the morning reading routine with a hot cuppa in your hand. The minimalistic black and silver theme and an all-inclusive menu bar at the top make using the app a breeze.
One word – Complete. There would hardly be a few dissenting voices in the crowd of PressReader users as far as the coverage is concerned. With a strong database of 2033 sources internationally, this app has something to offer to anyone who downloads it. Search for and choose issues easily that are categorized by Country, Language, Favorites and Recent. PressReader hosts newspapers from 97 countries in 54 languages.
After downloading the app for the first time, a user is given 2 choices – either to go for a free trial or to authorize his/her account. The next step is to give your country of preference so that when the app is opened the next time, newspapers from the respective country will be displayed. Once this is done, a sprawling list shows up with an array of papers to choose from. Each issue has to be downloaded separately and of course, auto-delivery of issues can be arranged for in the settings. A ‘Wi-Fi only content download’ option is also available. You can add your daily staple as your ‘Favorite’ newspaper. After the download is completed, tap the paper to open it and voila! You are holding the complete albeit miniature version of your daily paper.
The paper is represented as it is, from top to bottom and instead of turning the pages you can navigate by swiping left/right for the subsequent parts. To read a story, you can either pinch zoom into the page or more conveniently, tap on the highlighted heading and arrive at a page where the story is beautifully transformed into a comfortably readable, scaled version to fit the screen of your mobile device perfectly. Sharing options can be found at the bottom of the screen.
Another nifty inclusion in the design of the UI is the seek bar at the bottom of the screen when the newspaper is being displayed in its entirely. If you want to avoid the cumbersome process of flipping through page-by-page, simply pull up the consolidated view from the seek bar and scroll right across to the page/section/supplement that you want to read. Personally, this is my favorite feature of the app. The Page/Contents view that puts the entire spread in sequence can be called up from the icon in between the seek arrows.
A thoughtful addition is the voice-over option available for all articles just a tap away. The reader is pleasing to the ear and the speed is comfortable, making it a very useful feature. However, a small quirk was that abbreviations were being read out as whole words, but in face of the overall effort, this is just a small glitch. It is to be noted that voice-overs are available only for newspapers published in popular languages and not for vernacular publications (at least as far as India is concerned).
There are several plans available for users to subscribe to PressReader. Those who already have an account with PressDisplay.com can club their subscription with that for this app during authorization. New users can try out PressReader, play around a little and get the hang of it before deciding whether they want to go for a pay-as-you-go plan or take a longer subscription. Special plans are available for Corporate and Professional subscribers. Visit PressDisplay’s Blog for more details.
PressReader is an app poised for success. A simple, tasteful UI, strong collection of news updated regularly, customization options, user-friendly, anticipatory design and a host of other useful features make this app a must have for all smartphone and/or tablet users. The app would serve well both newspaper-hounds and casual readers and may turn latter into the former.
Nikhila is a gadget lover and passionate writer. She likes to keep up with social media and Internet culture in particular while staying updated about all latest gizmos. Nikhila is a mechanical engineer-turning-into-technical-writer. Bibliophile, Grammar Nazi, dog lover, foodie, casual artist.
26 February, 2013