Monday, September 24, 2012

PressReader App

Alright so today, I'm going to review something that's not a book!

-cue the gasps of horror-

But it's related to reading though

-audible sighs of relief (with everyone thinking "we don't have to listen to more of her life")-

You see, a few weeks ago, Caleb from PressReader contacted me about their app. Since I arrived in Japan, I haven't really been reading the papers, and I was actually craving the papers back home. Naturally, I was interested in reviewing this app. And the clincher was the fact that you could read offline. Since I only have wifi during school hours (where I can't read), the availability of offline reading was very appealing.

I've been using the app for about a month now, and I'm dreading the thought of life without it. The folks at PressReader gave me a pretty cool account for the time being, and I've been able to read The Star and Today newspapers everyday (and now, Guardian Review every Saturday).

Obviously, I love the app for the offline reading. That means you have to download the issues, but I didn't have any space problems with it. For papers that you want to read everyday, you can actually subscribe, and have it "automatically" download everyday. The only caveat is that you have to open the app for the download to start.

And, there are a lot of newspapers to read. While there wasn't The Straits Times or The New York Times(I suspect it's because they have their own iPad app), there are many many newspapers. I made quite a lot of people happy by letting them read their home papers (like The Cape Times, or this Korean paper). So I suppose for most people, they could find their favourite newspaper here. And, if you really love to read the papers like me, you can actually browse and try a lot of different papers from around the world.

Navigation-wise, it's pretty obvious. I had some problems figuring out how to delete the papers I didn't want, but it turns out I overlooked the "edit" button at the bottom left-hand side. You can search for the paper by Country or Language, which I thought was quite useful.

Apart from a few times when the app crashed (I suspect that's because my iPad is pretty old and starting to have some hardware issues), the app runs perfectly. I don't have any complaints in this department.

Oh, and before I forget, this is really like a newspaper. There are a few times, where the feature/comic is cut of halfway because it's printed in the middle. You can view two pages at a time, but the pictures still look a little strange (As though someone printed a picture in the middle, then folded it like a book), and the text becomes really small. You can zoom in, but I like the font size on the single page option (in landscape mode).

The bottom line is that this app is really cool. If you love the papers like me (or you know, need to read them for school/research), then it's worth paying money for this (And I saw a few, like one or two papers, which was free and didn't cost money; so the poor students like me can stick to those). But if you read only one paper and pretty much ignore the rest, you might as well stick to the app made by the publisher of that company (like The Straits Times), which might have better formatting and extra content.

Disclaimer: I received a free trial account from the company in exchange for a free and honest review.

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