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Summary:

Amazon’s Kindle hardware and software is great for reading books, but not so much when it comes to magazines and newspapers. By following this step-by-step method, you can have access to thousands of color magazines and newspapers on an Android device via Zinio and PressReader.

android-newspaper-featured

As someone who started reading e-books in 2003, I’m always on the lookout for ways to expand my insatiable appetite for digital content. But I’m not sold that I want Apple to earn 30 percent of my content purchases because that could boost prices across the board for books, newspapers and magazines.

While waiting for that wrestling match to unfold, I’m using Amazon’s Kindle app to read two or three titles per week. The newspaper and magazine selection in Kindle format is rather lame, though. My last check showed less than 100 titles in each format. That’s why I turned to Zinio for digital magazines a few years ago, and I never looked back. And recently, I’ve been intrigued by PressReader, which carries more than 1,700 newspapers from dozens of countries, including 261 various, but reasonably priced, U.S. titles.

Zinio arrived on iOS devices early last year, but an Android version isn’t yet in the Market. Zinio says it’s coming soon to the Market and is pre-installed on the Dell Streak 7 I just reviewed, as well as certain Samsung Galaxy Tab devices. My T-Mobile Tab isn’t one of those devices, but I have Zinio installed and I’ll show you how to do the same. PressReader is available directly in the Android Market, but the method I’m using puts both PressReader and Zinio into a handy app called Readers Hub. The Hub supports Kobo books, which is also found in the Market, but since I use Amazon, I won’t cover that here. I may revisit that in a future post, however.

Here’s the process I used with Readers Hub to get Zinio and PressReader installed on my Galaxy Tab, which should work on other Froyo tablets and handsets:

  1. You’ll first need an application to install .apk files and unzip files. There are several in the Market, but I use AndroZip by AgileSoft. There’s a free, ad-supported version or you can buy the full version for $4.99.
  2. Using the browser in Android, navigate over to this XDA-Developers thread and directly download the GalaxyTab-Readers.rar file to your device.
  3. After the download, open up AndroZip and navigate to the download folder on your device. You should see the .rar file there.
  4. Tap the .rar file and choose the “Extract file here” option in AndroZip.
  5. Once the .rar file is unpacked, you should see three new .apk files: one each for Readers Hub, Press Reader and Zinio. Simply tap each file and choose the “Install” option to install the apps.
  6. After installing each .apk, you should successfully have a new Readers Hub shortcut in your application list. Open it to begin reading newspapers and magazine in Press Reader or Zinio!

If you’re not willing to take the plunge, maybe a peek at what you’re missing will entice: In the gallery below, I grabbed several screenshots of magazine and newspaper content, along with a sampling of the offerings available.

 

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  1. Why you not like Apple have a measly 30 percent ?
    I would argue that Apple digital distro model has personally saved you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars compared to the old brick and mortar bookstore days when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
    IMO books are much cheaper today due to APple just like music is much much cheaper to buy since APple iTunes launched. Or do you really wanna go back to cranking up the four wheeler and run down to your local media store and purchase a $15 album/cd and hope you get one or two good songs. NO THANK YOU. The Apple Way is the best way. You should be thanking Apple instead of trying to scheme around them with your personal greed showing itself in bold neon lights.

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    1. I don’t have a problem with Apple making 30 percent of any in-app purchases, but I do take issue with your argument. As I said in the post, I’ve been reading e-books since 2003, which is at least 7 years prior to Apple jumping in with iBooks. And that was after Steve Jobs semi-arrogantly said “people don’t read” I might add. ;) And the music angle doesn’t ring true to me either: I’ve purchased nearly all of my digital music from Amazon’s MP3 store for far less money and without any DRM ever. Apple later followed that approach, yet the music is still more expensive in most cases through iTunes. Why again should I be thanking them?

      In any case, I still don’t have a problem with them making 30 percent. However, if they force all content through their store, it could hurt customers because content providers will either have to lose money or raise prices to compensate for the extra 30 percent cut. Having said that, let me ask again: why should I be thanking them?

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  2. Mobile is quickly becoming the tool for content input and accessing. While it has really good impact on going green movement but news creator needs to find out the way for monetization.
    The first reader might pay for viewing but how the agencies will keep eye on forward to a friend, tweeting or status updating with summary of news content.
    We get so much of news now-a-days that we are really not interested in knowing each and everything in detail. Our need to know brief can be quenched through status update messages.

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  3. I thought this was very cool however it got me to wondering whether you considered this to be too technical for those less “technically inclined?” Not me, but the less experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to tech?

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  4. Great post, Kevin. I’m about to try this on my Fascinate, although I’m still at 2.1, so I’m guessing it may be a bust. (There’s a leaked Android for Fascinate, but I’m waiting a while longer to see if Verizon pitches up.)

    I’ve been an ereader since 1999 and a Zinio user since 2003. Since Apple came on the ebook scene, prices have gone up significantly.

    I don’t resent anyone making money, but I truly believe Apple’s policies are anti-competitive. They force users and developers through their store, then they want to charge a fee for the privilege. Value added? $0.

    I’m an iPad user, and I love it. But, I would not even consider going to an iPhone, given Apple’s policies (and other features).

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  5. Hi,
    i recently acquired a galaxy tab p1000. I found it so awesome to be able to read online. However, after downloading 1 newspaper issue, it can’t download yhe next issue unless you place a sim. Also, i haven’t tried zinio since it’s always crashing.
    Have you encountered something like this? I raised up this concern to zinio but they never replied. Maybe you can help me with my problem.
    Thank you!

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