By the time The EastAfrican was born, technology had not taken over the world and flattened it as it seems to have done in the more recent years. For newspaper readers then, the only available option was the hard copies. Even with the continued hiked prices of the dailies, folks still had no choice but to purchase the hard copy. The paper wasn’t the paper without the hardcopy. Not so any more. Like many modern day media houses, the EastAfrican newspaper has realized that people need to catch up with news and other information on their gadgets.
The paper now has a downloadable app that is available on both Android and IOS. Readers are offered the first two weeks of using the app absolutely free, after which they have to make in-app purchases at pocket friendly prices as below:
- 1 Month – 4USD
- 3 Months – 15USD
- 6 Months – 28USD
- One year – 50USD
Payment for the e-papers can be made via credit cards, debit cards, M-pesa paybill as well as cash. The cash option may sound outdated but some of us like to keep their hard receipts and in this case all you have to do is walk into the Nation Media Offices, make the payment, and have the app activated for you.
New papers are loaded onto the app every Monday morning at 6.00am and readers are promptly alerted by the app that there is fresh fodder. With these options, readers have no reason not to be aware of the current affairs not only within their borders, but across them too.
As you may have noted, windows phones users will not be in a position to download the app as of now. As for the android users who make the majority of smartphone users, you will realize on downloading that the paper is not a flip copy, but rather it is in form of PDF, something I found rather inconvenient to use because the text cannot fit on one page on phone. To therefore expand it to readable size, I had to zoom out quite a bit, which means it runs outside the borders of the phone. I then have to keep scrolling back and forth just to read a single line, and so on and so forth for the multiple lines that make up a complete story.
I also found that it is impossible to share any stories from the app on social media as it lacks the buttons for the same. It would be a more enriching experience to have an improvement to the app so that readers can share individual articles as opposed to sharing the whole e-paper which seems to be the only option as at now. An option to follow the article authors on social media directly from the app would also be a good addition.
Despite the few challenges that come with the application, it still caters for convenience and reachability since you’re carrying the entire paper in digital form. Next time you are out of town or country, you don’t have to wait until you are back to catch your regional news. The EastAfrican App got you!