PressReader 4 Brings Revamped Interface Along with Thousands of Publications

PressReader 4 Brings Revamped Interface Along with Thousands of Publications

Apr 20, 2012

PressReader, the app for reading thousands of newspapers and magazines, has released a major new update for Android. Version 4.0 brings thousands of newspapers to Android devices with full support for both tablets and phones alike.

The update brings two key new features to the app. First, there’s a brand new rendering engine at work. It’s become easier than ever to browse around the thousands of publications available in the app. Newspaper scrolling is smooth, and the layouts give the app the feel of reading actual newspapers, something that online publications lose the feel of because of their layouts.

The app also has a new interface where pages can be horizontally swiped through. Entitled SmartFlow, this is designed to make reading newspaper articles a smarter, more digital-friendly experience. Stories are still laid out in similar ways as they are on the publication pages themselves, and the ability to read the first parts of stories is there, but it is all in a consistent, digital-friendly format with changing font size for the reader’s comfort. The app still makes it possible to tap on some headlines in order to read them in a text view, instead of on the page itself. Articles can also be read back through text to speech software, that works rather well with different inflections for quotations versus in-line text. This makes it possible to keep track of a story while driving or on a commute, checking email, though it could take days to listen to a single issue of a newspaper at that rate.

It’s also possible to get the latest issues of publications automatically delivered to the device in the background. The app comes with a free 24-hour trial, and there’s a special $5.99/month introductory offer, with the regular price for access to all the publications going for $29.99/month. The update is available now.

PressReader Review

PressReader Review

May 17, 2011

Some say that the internet is killing newspapers, but I disagree – it’s changing them. Adaptation is essential for survival and the PressReader app is a great step towards just that, turning your Android-powered device into a perfect digital recreation of more than 1700 newspapers from around the world.

PressReader is a paper shop in your pocket, giving you instant access to huge swathes of papers from around the world. You start off with a 7 issue free trial, and after that each issue will cost you around 99 cents. Or, if you’re a more avid reader, you can set up a monthly fee subscription at pressdisplay.com.

The app itself is well designed and easy to use, with a tab for your library, a tab for the store and a tab for settings. The newspapers are presented in exactly the same format as they are on the news stand. You flip through the pages with a sideways swipe and zoom with pinches and double taps. Pushing your phone’s menu button brings up a table of contents, with quick links to the different sections of the paper.

If you tap on the headline of a story, the app brings it up in a full page format, allowing you to read at your leisure. It’s a wonderfully well executed piece of kit and makes browsing through the paper a pleasant and simple task.

You can set up subscriptions that deliver new editions of the selected paper directly to your phone, and because the papers are downloads, you’re free to browse them offline at your leisure. There’s even an option to have the app read a story back to you, which isn’t perfect, but it’s good that it’s there.

There are a few niggles, as there are with any app. Clickable adverts would be nice – at the moment, because these are reproductions of the actual, physical paper, the ads are just text. Also, the pricing of subscriptions might be a little too steep for some, although in comparison with the real papers, it’s not really that expensive at all.

PressReader is a great idea, well implemented and with plenty of scope for growth. Whilst the pricing mat put some off, for avid newspaper readers, this is a great step towards an enjoyable, usable, digital alternative.