Conventional Newspapers world over are seeing a steady decline in their subscribership. Indian newspapers still haven’t seen such declines due to a variety of reasons, the internet & smartphone/table penetration in India still has quite a way to go in order for consumers to make the switch to online news sources for their daily news fix. Well don’t wait for the times to catch up, you can go digital today.
Here’s an app which brings you your daily newspaper home from anywhere on the globe on your Tablet or mobile. PressReader is an app which gets you the latest editions of newspapers from around the world, on a variety of devices. They support Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7 apart from Windows and Mac desktop.
The world at your Fingertips
One aspect of the app which amazed me, apart from the number of device platforms they support, was the shear number of newspapers provided on the app to subscribe to. India alone has around 129 publications, in a range of languages – English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi among others. There are around 1297 English language sources to choose from. Don’t let the numbers run away, some of the numbers can be attributed to the same publication from different cities as well, I spotted more than one Times of India (one for Delhi and the other for Mumbai) in the listing. Apart from newspapers, you can also find a few magazines in the listing, which are available to download using this app. Why just stop with your regular local newspaper? You can use PressReader to subscribe to newspapers around the world.
If you are looking at language based publications, the app also allows you to filter the list of publications based on languages, making it easy to find out if you have any sources in your preferred language.
News in time for your Morning Coffee
Downloading a newspaper is as easy as clicking on the newspaper you wish to read and choosing which date you’d like to download the news paper for. In this window, you can also set an automatic download of future issues as well. This way, your tablet or phone can download the latest issue and have it ready for you in time for your morning coffee. You can also download back-issues of the newspapers if you missed reading one of the previous few issues.
You can also go in there and download older editions (though limited to a few days worth) of the newspapers if you missed reading out a column or two from the previous days.
The Reading Experience
I love the way the app presents the Newspaper reading experience from the standard Newspaper layout into a “Smart Flow” mode. If you prefer to read it like you’d do with a print one, you can do that as the default view. In the iPad and Android Tablets, the Smart Flow mode switches to a more device friendly method for navigating and reading the content. Here are a few screenshots from the app showing you the different modes of reading. (Click on the images for a larger view)
From these you can make out that the SmartFlow mode really improves on the standard newsprint layout, leaving out all the clutter and focussing on what you need to read. In the Smartflow mode, you can also change the font size to customize for a more comfortable reading experience.
I had asked the PressReader folks about how they managed to get this done. PressReader a digital solution developed by NewspaperDirect, which is a well known company in the industry. They get content from publishers from near and far in a standard PDF format. Once they receive it, each issue is processed with XML features like clickable headlines, on-demand audio and SmartFlow. This process they say is largely automated but there is quite a bit of human intervention. That’s quite a lot of data to crunch in a day, considering the number of publications they feature within the app!
Screenshots from the PressReader