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App Review – Frontpages

Developer: 8080 srl
Category: News
Price: £0.59/$0.99

Many news apps provide links to specially formatted digital editions of your favourite newspapers, but reading a digital version of a newspaper is like browsing a web site. The romance of a broadsheet of tablet is lost, as is its character and identity when viewed in an iPhone-formatted edition. This novel app re-connects you with your newspaper by downloading the latest ‘hot off the press’ front page directly to your iPhone. This is akin to popping into your local Newsagents and treating it like a library as you read through all the front pages (though you don’t have to worry about the annoyed glare of the shop keeper as you get your free hit of headline news).

This is a great app if you need a quick news fix and don’t have time to wade through a whole paper. If you’re on holiday it’s nice to be able to get a taste of what’s going on at home. You can pinch to zoom in to read the small newsprint and pan around the paper by dragging your finger on the screen.

Frontpages is designed to look like a traditional newsstand. Simply search through the list of papers (or browse by typing a country into the search field) and choose your favourites. The selected paper’s latest edition will then be displayed as a folded newspaper in the main newsstand graphic. You can swipe your finger to browse through multiple shelves of papers. If a particular headline intrigues you and you need to know more then there’s an icon that will take you to the website edition of that paper in Safari. You can also open PDF versions of the front pages in Safari too, for sharper looking text and brighter image colours.

On the downside there’s only a few UK papers to peruse but this should change over time. Occasionally you’ll get a closed shutter graphic saying ‘Image Not Available’, which is frustrating. You only need to buy this app once and the latest front pages of your favourite papers can be within reach wherever you are.

Longevity: 9.0
Fun factor: 7.8
Practicality: 8.9
Value For Money: 8.5

Kung Fu Verdict: 8.8