Home > iPhone, NewspaperDirect, PressDisplay > The PressReader iPhone Application has finally arrived!

The PressReader iPhone Application has finally arrived!

Well, the wait is over. Finally the PressReader Application is on iTunes! I know I know…it’s been too long coming and I totally agree.   Believe me, it didn’t come without a lot of pain (for all of us!).

PressReader Application on iTunes

As many of you know, our plan was to offer the application for free to our PressDisplay.com subscribers, but Apple said “No!”  We fought this battle a long time and it delayed our application for months.    In the end, the only way Apple would approve the application was through single copy sales of titles, payble through users’ iTunes accounts.  Pricing varies by country as follows: US$0.99, C$0.99, €0.79, £0.59, AU$1.19, ¥115 for each newspaper or magazine issue you download.

There are a couple of quirks with this application as well you should know about.  Being a “portal type” of application, it doesn’t quite fit within Apple’s standard modus operandi.   Here’s an example…After you’ve downloaded your first title, the next title you try and download will result in a message telling you that you’ve already downloaded that title and then asks you, “Are you sure you want to download it again?”.  Say yes!  This is an iPhone message.  Their phones do not understand that we have over 1,000 titles in this one application.  For them, it’s one app – one download. Sigh…

Please note that we are trying to resolve these quirks for you and will continue to lobby Apple for an exemption on the pricing issues.   This battle is not over yet!

Anyway, the publications look great and I think you’ll really enjoy reading your favorite titles on the iPhone.  They are presented as full-content digital replicas, in their original layout like on PressDisplay.com. You can flip pages, pan and zoom in to view any page, article or photo in stunning clarity.

Key Features:

– Easily navigate publications using thumbnails or tables of contents 

– View full graphics or easy-to-read text views

– Access on-demand audio

– Search online across titles and select the title you wish to download

– Jump to next page using article hyperlinks

– Share articles by email

So, check out the demo:

And try the application.  Then let me know what you think.  We’ll be updating the application regularly with new titles and features so your feedback is important. 

  1. David
    October 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I installed the program on my iPod Touch this morning. After ironing out a few glitches the experience was largely satisfactory. However (and I realize this is Apple’s doing), the fact that I must pay almost as much to read a digital edition on an iPod Touch/iPhone as the paper product means this will have very limited use for me.

    When I first installed it created two “PressDisplay” accounts in the library section instead of one. I bought an issue of the Toronto Star to test, but it would not download. I removed the app, reinstalled it again, and it created just one account. I then had to repurchase the issue of the Toronto Star, although the iTunes store so far has charged me just once. I hope it stays that way. I also bought an issue of Canada’s National Post, and as soon as I clicked “download” the app crashed. I don’t think I have been charged for it, but I’ll have to wait a few hours to know for sure. That issue did not start downloading when I restarted the app.

    Having said all of that, I enjoy the interface. It seems well done and easy to navigate. I like the article reading options…on the newspaper page or articles on their own. I also like the fact that the app works with PressDisplay online, so I will no longer have to go through Safari (which also worked well for me).

    I don’t have an iphone, so I can’t comment on ease of downloading over the cellular network.

    Now if only this program could be included as part of a PressDisplay subscription (which, again, I realize is an issue with Apple) it would be great. Or it would at least be better if individual issue prices weren’t so high. At the Canada iTunes store you will also pay tax on top of the issue price.


  2. October 21, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Hi David
    Thanks for your comments. I should probably mention that our App that was approved and now on iTunes is months old. We have a new version that fixes some instability issues, but we didn’t submit because we were concerned it would disrupt the whole approval process with Apple. We are now submitting that new version and things will be much more stable (when Apple finally approves its that it ;))

    Also, the automatic downloads is implemented, but we need “written approval” from Apple for it to work. My my…this is such a painful process. We know of other apps that have this feature, but Apple wouldn’t approve it for us on the first round. So we’re going after it again on our next submission.

    And we will definitely fight the sales model so hopefully someday PressDisplay subscribers can get their favorite titles for free through the appl.


  3. Joe
    October 21, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Gayle,
    this is a glorious day! I’m really glad that Apple, finally, approved the PressReader application for the iPod Touch/iPhone. However, I have a concern. I’ve been a subscriber of the National Post’s digital edition for a while, (I pay for it monthly), and use the PressReader client on Windows to download my copies of this paper without extra charge. Am I going to be charged extra for downloading copies of the National Post in my iPhone? I understand that for other papers I will have to pay $0.99 per copy.

  4. limonado
    October 25, 2009 at 3:32 am

    I’m so disappointed. As a subscriber I would not pay for each single issue again. Sigh!

  5. October 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Limonado.

    I am disappointed too. I’m thinking of starting a petition on this issue to try and get Apple to be more reasonable and let our PressDisplay.com subscribers download the our titles for free. Do you think we could get enough subscribers to sign it?


  6. Robert Jobin
    October 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Gayle !

    My understanding about Iphone PressReader is that we have to pay first of all for for a service subscription ($9.95) and an extra .99$ for an Iphone copy.

    It doesn’t make sense

    • October 27, 2009 at 6:44 pm

      Hi Robert!

      You don’t need a PressDisplay.com account to download PressReader on the iPhone or any of the titles at 99 cents each. But if you are a subscriber to PressDisplay.com at $9.95, you still have to pay extra for each title on the iPhone (after the first free 7 titles you get). I agree – it doesn’t make sense to pay twice. That’s why I’m starting a petition tp pressure Apple into letting PressDisplay subscribers to get the iPhone App and titles for free.

  7. Nick Collins
    October 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    It is a bit of a joke on behalf of apple really. I am a subscriber and would not be willing to pay 59p for another issue I can have on my pc. It is a bit stupid really because who in their right minds would pay twice?

    I downloaded the app and it let me download for free for a few days, I thought it was because of my account but was told it was a free period. I found this blog on google when trying to find out how to use my sub on the ipod.


    • October 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm

      Unfortunately, Nick, it’s not very funny is it? Yes, we offer the app free and the first 7 titles for everyone to try, but NewspaperDirect pays for those.

  8. Mark Hamilton
    October 30, 2009 at 8:55 pm


    This is simply crazy – surely you people can come to some agreement with apple? What is this…..apple’s way of generating more income?
    I would suggest that there would be a segment of your customer base – myself included- that do not actually utilise press reader on the PC……I only utilise your service via my PDA (now iphone) and am now seriously deciding to cancel the subscription.
    Maybe you need to do something quickly – I am scratching my head and thinking that this is not just an impact to your ability to service the needs of your customer base but an impact to your brand, the value it offers & the intrinsic reason people pay for a subscription of this type.

    • November 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm

      Hi Mark
      I certainly understand how you feel. I agree – it is crazy. IMHO, it’s Apple’s way or the highway with their apps. RIM doesn’t do this with our BlackBerry App, but Apple is well….APPLE. We continue to try and find ways around this problem at the highest levels in our company. I wish I could give you better news now, but I just don’t have the answer. But I do understand how you feel and agree that this is not the way we want to do business.


  9. Lucio
    November 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    If this was a Apple issue or way of handling with their app, how come the Amazon’s Kindle app we can read a book on the iPhone and also on the Kindle device and soon on a PC or Mac and not be charged any extra?
    As long you paid for the book you can read any where (iPhone and Kindle device).
    You guys already did a great job with this app, is just a few steps to get it perfect!!

    • November 2, 2009 at 6:57 pm

      Hi Lucio
      Thanks for your comment. Amazon was given “special permission” by Apple to do that. We have tried and tried to get that same permission, but have not received any response to requests from Apple. But we’ll continue to bug them about this.

      Meanwhile, we may have found a techical workaround for our subscribers that doesn’t require Apple permission. We’re testing it now. I hope we can announce it soon – hopefully next week.

      Stay tuned!

  10. November 2, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Well, I just heard some great news! We think we have found a way for PressDisplay.com subscribers to get the iPhone downloads for free. We’re testing it now. I hope we will release the instructions on how to do it in a few days. It’s not the most elegant solution, but we think it will work, so stay with me on this.

    As soon as I know more, I’ll let you know!


  11. Nacho
    November 8, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Will you please let me know when it’s done! thx in advance!

  12. Sunil
    November 9, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Thanks Gayle, look forward to see the instructions.

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