About two weeks into playing with my Motorola XOOM, I realized that my Android usage was starkly different on tablet than it is on a handset. The types of applications I was using on a 10-inch tablet were more geared to consumption of data. Be it magazines, books, web, or news apps, I found myself grabbing the XOOM to consume information every chance I could. Sure, my 4.3-inch screen is great, but it doesn’t come remotely close to the 10-inch experience. One application that crossed my radar early on is PressReader.
PressReader is a free application that provides access to more than 1,800 newspapers and magazines from across nearly 100 countries. The costs come in the form of downloading individual newspapers at 99¢ each or an all-you-can-eat $29.95 per month. Yes, it might sound a little bit steep, but I find it to be worth the money as I subscribe to USA TODAY, and USA TODAY Sports Weekly and also download newspapers from around the country, depending on where I might be. On any given month, I calculate it would cost me around $25 or more to buy everything I read. Of course, buying these on a day-by-day basis would cost even more. But where’s the real value in PressReader? To me, it comes in other features.
Like the NOOK application does for magazines, PressReader lets me swipe page to page and zoom in on articles exactly as they are presented. Should I want to just read the article without any advertisements or clutter, there’s an option for full graphic and text view.
Another option I like is the background settings which automatically deliver the newspapers as they are made ready. I don’t have to go in and manually pull down documents when I want them as they’re already queued up when I open the app.
Once in a while, I’ll find myself traveling to a major city for a conference or event. In these cases, I’ll sometimes pull up a local newspaper to catch up with the locals and see what’s going on. I really like the selection of US papers as nearly all big markets are present. You’ll find all your favorites, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Houston Chronicle, and New York Post.
Searching for additional titles are a breeze as users can sort by name, country, and date. Tap a magazine and download. It’s that simple. Want to subscribe to future issues? Check the box. The app is no-frills and behaves exactly as you’d expect.
Integration with PressDisplay.com also allows subscription and newspaper management with the same account information. I like the fact that I can go online and hop around from source to source, catching up on news from a variety of outlets. Doing this from a tablet is nearly as practical as the desktop browser, but way more convenient.
My advice to prospective users is to download the app and check out a newspaper. Sample it at 99¢ and decide whether it’s right for you. The entire package is worth $30 a month to me, however your mileage may vary. Considering I used to drop $3 every week on USA TODAY Sports Weekly, I would see value in just buying them at 99¢ a pop instead.