Review: PressReader for iPad

By Mike on 6:09 pm

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The iPad was supposed to revolutionize the way we consume media. It was the death of the newspaper. Of course papers have been dying for decades. Tablets are in fact breathing new life into the ancient medium.

Enter PressReader for iPad. The app provides access to thousands of papers around the globe. Each organized by country and language. It's not just links to online sites either. It gives you full print editions, laid out exactly as they are on paper.

The free app sorts your news in a virtual book shelf. You can download papers directly from the in-app store and read them at any time. If you subscribe to a paper, the app will download news issues automatically, as soon as they hit newsstands.

It's a wall of papers... wallpaper?

Reading a newspaper on the iPad is the same as reading an e-book. Tap the cover to load, then flip through pages to see the articles you want. A quick find bar at the bottom of the screen makes it easy to jump to specific sections.

The papers themselves are high resolution digital scans of the print copies. Same font and all. Want a bigger font? Tap the headline and a text box pops up. From there you can copy and adjust font sizes. That's just for starters. Click the headphone symbol in the text box and PressReader will read the article aloud for you.

The scans are very clean looking, complete with high resolution photos not found on paper. They look exactly as they would on the editor's computer before going to the presses. Reading is easy whether you choose the text box feature or view it directly.

Of course these papers are not free. PressReader offers a free trial that gives you seven free issues. After that, each issue of any paper costs $0.99 US. For a monthly fee of $29.99, you get access to unlimited issues. With this plan, you can read as many different papers as you want. It also allows you to download back issues up to 14 days old.

Tons of international papers available. There's actually more Canadian ones than US ones.

This price is a bit steep. It's definitely a good deal for news junkies. But if you just read one paper, it's expensive. Digital subscriptions for single papers usually run around $15. The service used to offer a plan to subscribe to a single paper for that price. Unfortunately, they seem to have discontinued it.

The app also has some technical flaws. It can experience slowdowns and will crash occasionally. Not enough to ruin the experience but just enough to be annoying.

Despite the minor flaws, news junkies should definitely check out this app. It's available for free on the iTunes App Store.

Score: 8 out of 10

What works:
-Access to over 1000 newspapers
-High resolution scans of full print issues
-Text box for articles allows you to change fonts
-Direct downloads right in the app
-Monthly fee great deal for news junkies
-Audio feature reads articles aloud

What doesn't
-Occasional crashes and slowdowns
-Monthly free may be steep for light readers

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