I’ve been testing out PressReader, a mobile app for iPad (and a number of other platforms) that delivers access to the “print replica” editions of a huge number of newspapers from around the world. The PressReader web site puts the number at “over 2300″ newspapers from 97 countries, available for an all-inclusive $29.95 monthly subscription. It’s a month-to-month subscription, so no long-term commitment is necessary.
The software is available for iOS (iPhone & iPad), Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, and from desktops via PressDisplay.com.
The $29.95 price is what is quoted for subscriptions purchased directly through PressReader and its PressDisplay.com website. Purchase via the iTunes store, though, and you’ll pay $33.99 for the same monthly subscription. There may some some ease of use associated with the iTunes purchase, but be sure to check such fine print.
Subscribers to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser will be familiar with the look, feel, and ways of navigating through these digital versions of the printed newspapers, since the S-A’s “print replica” is created in the same system and available as one of the 2,300+ newspapers.
If you’re love newspapers, this subscription service may be for you. You can browse available newspapers by country. You’re presented a summary list of countries and the number of available newspapers in each. Click through to the country, and you get a list of publications and the language of publication.
The list of available publications changes somewhat over time as publishers and their publications come and go. Right now, the Star-Advertiser is available, along with nearly 400 other papers, from the biggies like the LA Times and Washington Post down to the High Desert Warrior and Fort Huachuca Scout.
In the Pacific, I noticed four newspapers from Indonesia, five in Japan, eleven in Malaysia, 109 in NZ, 30 in the Philippines, 12 in Thailand, etc. The International Herald Tribune appears in most country lists. Is that one edition or multiple country editions? I don’t know.
Those who love news may not all love printed newspapers as the means of delivery. PressReader is primarily designed to deliver the look and feel of the printed news, delivered with the original advertisements and layouts. For those who love newspapers, this is heaven. But it also defines the limits of this service. As more publications expand use of digital resources into packages that include video, animations, document and data libraries, and other similar digital resources, the print editions will have a harder time standing on their own.
One advantage is that issues are downloaded to your mobile device and are then available for reading offline, great for taking a stack of newspapers to read on a long flight, for example.
Some comments on the PressReader blog have identified software problems, but I haven’t run into those yet with PressReader on my iPad 2.
I just finished paging through the Washington Post, The Guardian (UK), International Herald Tribune, Today’s Zaman (English language newspaper from Turkey), Bangkok Post, The Press (Christchurch, NZ), and the New Zealand Herald (Auckland). What a treat!
I enjoy getting the full sense of the newspaper, including advertisements, which convey another layer of information about what’s happening in these different parts of the world.
And you never know what you’re going to find while browsing.
An Auckland planning commission is holding a hearing on a proposal for a 15-story building proposed for a downtown site, that would include “restaurants, bars, nightclubs, a brothel, hotel and offices.”
The article quotes a representative of the Prostitute’s Collective, as well as an assistant to the Catholic Bishop. Divergent views, as you can imagine, but even the church representative seemed to speak favorably about the Prostitute Reform Act, with its aim of decriminalizing prostitution and safeguarding rights of sex workers. Both views really challenge to our relatively puritan approach to such matters, and that’s why it’s educational to randomly browse the globe, something PressReader makes relatively simple.