Newspaper Tradition Goes High-tech with PressReader
PressReader is not your typical newspaper app. Instead of bringing you snippets of national or local news, this app gives you the real deal: replicas of more than 2,000 newspapers from around the world. This means you won’t have to read your news in an online format, because PressReader shows stories exactly how they appear on a real newspaper page. The most impressive thing: Pages are still easy to navigate and read, even if they are appearing on your tablet or smaller smartphone screen.
Michael Oksinski, Marketing Manager for the Vancouver-based PressReader app, helps answer some questions we had about the innovative app that utilizes technology to maximize the traditional print-journalism medium. We assure you, you won’t find another newspaper app like this.
- How did you aim to differentiate PressReader from other news aggregator apps?
Unlike other aggregators offering only a selection of top stories or stripped-down web content, PressReader offers subscribers access to over 2,000 full-content publications from 95 countries—all available through the world’s largest digital newsstand, PressDisplay.com.
Every publication available through the app is an exact digital replica of the current day’s printed edition with every section, article, editorial, advertisement and comic strip presented in its original context.
PressReader also provides users with functionality aimed at enhancing the traditional news-print experience with features like our exclusive SmartFlow (a horizontal news-reading feature) and SmartZoom technology (allowing you to automatically zoom in to the beginning of an article).
- How does your app address the debate between paid versus free news content?
We believe that consumers are more than willing to pay if they see value in what they’re purchasing.
Individuals subscribe to PressReader because they’re interested in receiving premium newspaper content from multiple sources. There’s obviously an abundance of free news apps out there, but they lack the local content as well as the editorial focus and insight newspapers continue to provide.
- What is the biggest hurdle PressReader had or has to overcome?
Because we are on the leading edge of app development, using the newest platforms (hardware and OS), we often work with unstable hardware and operating systems that are missing features and capabilities.
An example is Android. It does not support PDF rendering as iOS5 does. But since we want to give our users the same engaging reading experience on any device, we needed to find innovative ways to deliver SmartFlow to Android users. It’s delayed our release of SmartFlow for Android devices until early this year.
- What are you most proud of with PressReader?
We discovered that PressReader made consumers fall in love with newspapers all over again. In fact, some users told us that their reason for buying the iPad was for apps just like PressReader. That makes us feel great!
- What is your go-to resource for app-development help?
Typically, the first resources we rely on are the online guides and documentation provided by Apple, Android, etc.
Will you continue to add newspaper publications to the app’s database? How many?
The sky’s the limit! We’re always looking to expand PressReader’s list of available publications.
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Hollywood’s Heartthrob Turns App Investor
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Leonardo DiCaprio has been one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs since his performance in Titanic, and he has preserved his reputation as a worthy actor with other hit films such as Inception, The Departed and Catch Me If You Can. But DiCaprio is switching gears from show business—whether it be for a side gig or a change in career—by investing $4 million in the app Mobli.
Going off of the tagline, "See the world through other people’s eyes," Mobli is a social network where users can share photos and videos, and the app automatically tags each post with a location or major event in the surrounding area. Users can also follow channels that display photos about a particular topic, such as Leo himself.
Mobli CEO Moshe Hogeg told The Huffington Post in October 2011 that Leo’s not much of a tech guy, but he is very excited to be involved in the marketing aspect of the app. “He believes in the vision of the company and thinks that this is the future of media. He wanted to get on board in the beginning, influence it, and give his input into the company.”