NewspaperDirect’s PressReader > A New Way to Read the Paper
Words by Matthew Schildroth, News Editor, MacDirectory
Arthur Baer once said that “a newspaper is a circulating library with high blood pressure.” This sentiment couldn’t be more true, especially considering how much of an information-dependent age we live in. It is really amazing how fast-paced the news industry is. When you combine this with the fact that people are more mobile now than ever, it is really no surprise that circulation of printed newspapers has been declining for the past couple of years. The old stereotype of dad reading the paper at the breakfast table with a cup of coffee while mom makes toast and the kids eat their cereal has changed, and now dad is reading the newspaper in a completely different way – in a digital format.
The sad thing about the decline of newspapers (aside from the loss of a very effective fly slaying weapon) is that much of the print publication’s quality is lost. Reading the newspaper has become more of a website experience and less of an organized publication. For those who want a combination of quality publications and the mobility that digital editions have to offer, there is no better source than NewspaperDirect’s PressReader, which has very effectively preserved the newspaper experience while still delivering the rich content we’ve come to expect.
Matthew Schildroth, News Editor, MacDirectory
PressReader is available for a variety of platforms including Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Mac, and PC, but out of all the previously mentioned operating systems, PressReader really comes alive when it is on iOS, specifically on the iPad’s bigger screen and when it can be browsed with the touch screen interface. As I browsed through several different publications including The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, and USA Today, I was amazed with how crisp everything looked. In addition to the quality of the newspapers themselves, I was pleasantly surprised by the interface of the app itself. Unlike many newspaper apps on the iTunes App Store, PressReader allows you to read all your newspapers within one single streamlined app, and you can read the newspapers from the front page to the back exactly as it is printed instead of only getting select stories. Publications can be read in both portrait and landscape view, and you can pan, zoom, and rotate pages using native gestures that Apple users are familiar with. When on the “home screen” of the app, it is like your own personal newsstand where you can download the current editions of the newspapers that you subscribe to. Tap the store icon, and you will be blown away by the number of publications available – over 1,700 publications in 92 countries and 48 languages.
Publications can be downloaded for offline viewing, and you can also search for specific stories across the entire NewspaperDirect library, so finding something to read is never difficult. Even if all you have is an iPhone, the mobile version is extremely responsive. When I used it on my iPod touch, I was impressed with how much it maintained the usefulness that the iPad version has, as well as how easy it was to navigate and read newspapers despite the smaller screen. The PressReader app offers more than just traditional reading as well. If you tap on the header of a story, the story will open in a text-only format that also gives you the option of listening to the story using text-to-speech (and quality text-to-speech at that), which is especially useful if you are easily fatigued by reading on a smaller screen. If you find a story that you find particularly interesting, you can also email a link to the story, share it on Twitter or Facebook, or print a graphics or text-only copy of it using AirPrint.
Regardless of whether you are using a large screen or a small screen, you can’t beat the content that PressReader has to offer, especially at a price as low as it is. Pricing varies depending upon how much access you want or need, but you can choose to pay as you go for $0.99 per issue, or a personal subscription for $29.95 that will allow you to view all newspapers in the library (corporate and professional pricing are also available).
Even though it may be true that a newspaper is a circulating library with high blood pressure, PressReader is one app that makes that blood pressure just a little bit easier to control, at least for the reader. With the wide availability of PressReader’s content, there really is no reason to not at least try it out – you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised how interesting the news can be.