Today I checked out the new PressReader app on the iPad, and I was totally sold on it! It is so cool, this app *might* be the future of media and just having this app justifies buying an iPad for me.
Downloading on the iPad goes very fast
PressReader is a website with an app that lets you read 1500 newspapers and magazines worldwide on your computer, your iPhone or your iPad. You pay USD 0.99 per newspaper, or you can have a 1-month subscription for USD 9.99 that allows you to download 31 newspapers (you can download whatever your want, so you’re not stuck with a subscription to just one newspaper, you can download a different newspaper every day if you’d like or download several ones on one day), or a USD 29.99 one-month unlimited download. Compare this price to what you pay for printed newspapers!
Overview of all sections of newspaper
How does it work? Very simple, you register online or on your iPad (I already registered online a few years ago when I first found the website, and then just signed in on my iPad). Set up your favorite newspapers and download the ones you want to buy. If you are a new member you can download the first 7 papers for free (I think, I had to pay for my papers because I’m not a new member). You can also read the front page of every newspaper for free if you go online.
Click on title for one column view
Downloading is quick and easy, within a minute you have the paper you want on your iPad. You can see the whole page, but in order to read the article you have to either zoom in (by pinching) or you double click the article and a pop-up appears. Not in the mood for reading? Click the audio button and the iPad reads it for you. That not only works for English, but also for Dutch (and therefore likely for most other languages). You can swipe from page to page, or you click on the menu button to get an overview of all sections of the newspaper. It’s so easy that everybody will understand it without needing a manual.
Pinch to zoom in or out on part of the article
I am totally sold on this application, but there is still one downside: PressReader does not have all newspapers. For example I did not find the New York Times (yet?). However, other papers that were in there are for example the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Also a large number of local US newspapers were in the selection of 178 US papers and magazines. For Holland my favorite paper NRC Handelsblad was in there (I already have a subscription for that on my iLiad) and furthermore the Volkskrant. You can find papers from almost any country in the world, most have at least 2 or 3 local papers and some have a lot more (New Zealand has 92 papers, Australia 168 and Canada is the winner with 277 papers).
# of newspapers per country
If I would run PressReader I would probably go one step further, and also sell articles per piece. I believe that may eventually be the real future of “print” media: being able to pay a very small amount for the articles that you want to read (say USD 0.05 or 0.10 per article), and -important!- you should not have to go through a payment process but just press an “ok” button.
I am very happy that I found this app and I think I will spend quite some money on PressReader in the future. It works great, it looks great and the price per paper is less that a dollar. Why did TechCrunch not write about this yet? Spread the word!