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Android Hubs, Part 4: The Readers Hub

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If you have either the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 or 10.1 models, the Readers Hub app is available on the home screen. This app combines three apps into one so you can read newspapers, magazines, and books on your Tab 2 in one place. All three "sub-apps" require that you sign up for those services so you can preview, purchase, and download the items you want to read. The PressDisplay sub-app allows you to read newspapers from many countries around the world. Read magazines in many different categories within the Zinio sub-app. And you can download books to your Galaxy Tab 2 within the Kobo sub-app.

If you have a Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 or 10.1, then you may have noticed the Readers Hub icon on the home screen. The Readers Hub is one of five Hubs available from Samsung for the Galaxy Tab[em]the others are Media, Music, Social, and Game. However, though you can download the Game Hub from the Google Play Store, you can only use the Readers Hub on the Galaxy Tab 2.

The Readers Hub combines three apps in one: the ability to read popular newspapers in PressDisplay, magazines available for you to download and read in Zinio, and you can download and read e-books in Kobo. Open the Readers Hub by tapping the Readers Hub icon at the bottom of the home screen shown in Figure 1. (All figures are taken from the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.)

Figure 1 The Readers Hub appears at the left side of the icons row that is at the bottom of the home screen.

The Disclaimer screen appears first so you can review the terms of service. This screen will appear every time you open the Readers Hub, but you can this notice off for the next ninety days by tapping the Do not show for 90 days checkbox. Whether you tap this checkbox or not, close the Disclaimer screen by tapping the Confirm button.

The home screen appears as shown in Figure 2 so you can shop for newspapers by tapping News, magazines by tapping Magazines, and books by tapping Books. If a sub-app within the Readers Hub contains a functionality update, the Update button appears above the sub-app title. After you tap the Update button, a window appears that tells you the sub-app will be updated and to tap the OK button to continue.

Figure 2 The three sub-apps appear within the Reader Hub home screen.

After you tap the OK button, the Samsung Apps screen opens and gives you more information about the sub-app that requires updating. In this case, it’s the Magazines sub-app as shown in Figure 3. You can get detailed information by swiping down in the Detail info section on the left side of the screen. You can also read a description of the program as well as user comments and information about the app by swiping down the right side of the screen underneath the screenshot samples.

Figure 3 Update the Magazines sub-app within the Samsung Apps screen's Details page.

Begin the update process by tapping the Update button. You’ll be asked to enter your Samsung Apps login email address and password in the Confirm Password window. After you type the email address and password, tap the OK button to continue.

After the Samsung Apps app installs the updated service, switch back to the Readers Hub by tapping the Task Manager icon in the list. In the Task Manager list, tap Readers Hub.

Newspapers in PressDisplay

Tap News to open the Press Display home screen, which is empty as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 The home screen is empty when you open PressDisplay since you haven't chosen any newspapers yet.

Tap the Sources button at the left side of the My Library menu bar at the top of the screen. The number of newspapers by country appears within the Sources page shown in Figure 5. The number of newspapers in that country you can purchase, download, and read appears to the right of the country name.

Figure 5 Swipe up and down the country list to view the number of newspapers published in that country that you can read.

If you want to change how you categorize newspapers, tap the By country button at the right side of the Sources menu bar that appears at the top of the screen. You can view newspapers not only by country but also by language, you can only view the list of your favorite newspapers, or you can view newspapers you’ve viewed recently.

You can also search for a specific newspaper by tapping the Search icon to the right of the By country button. Then you can type the name of the newspaper in the Search box. As you type the name of the newspaper you want to read, you’ll see thumbnail versions of all newspapers that meet your criteria. For example, if you type Washington in the search box you’ll see several newspapers from the Washington, D.C. area. The thumbnail image of the paper has the name of the paper, the date the newspaper was published, and the country where the newspaper was published.

When you find the newspaper you want to view, tap the thumbnail to open the newspaper page. The front page of the newspaper appears on the left side of the screen and a calendar appears at the right side of the screen as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 Swipe down the screen to view the entire front page of the current day's newspaper.

The calendar highlights the current date in blue, which means you are viewing the current day’s newspaper. Dates highlighted in white indicate that you can tap that date to view the paper from that date. When you tap the date, that date is highlighted in blue in the calendar and the thumbnail of the paper front page changes to reflect the front page for that day’s newspaper.

You can view the fourteen most recent issues of the newspaper. If you’re viewing an issue within the first fourteen days of the month, such as on November 9 as shown in Figure 6, then you can tap the left arrow button at the top left of the calendar to view highlighted days at the end of the previous month. Tap the right arrow at the top right of the calendar to return to the current month.

Swipe down the page and then tap the OK button under the calendar to view the newspaper on the screen. If you just started using PressDisplay, you’ll be able to view the newspaper for a limited time. After that trial period ends, PressDisplay will ask you to either sign in or sign up with one of three registration plans. As of this writing, the plans range from a “pay as you go” plan that costs 99 cents to view the current newspaper for fourteen days to the $199.95 per year Professional subscription that gives you as many as ninety back issues of any newspaper in the PressDisplay catalog.

Magazines in Zinio

In the Readers Hub home screen, tap Magazines to open the Zinio sub-app. You’ll see a list of top sellers on the right side of the screen as shown in Figure 7. A list of categories appears on the left side of the screen.

Figure 7 Featured offers and information appear above the list of top-selling magazines in the Top Sellers area.

You can swipe down the list to view a list of magazines in a variety of categories such as bestsellers and new arrivals to the Zinio catalog. If you want to view a list of all magazines in a category, tap one of the categories in the list. Each entry in the list contains the title of the magazine, the most recent issue, and the cost for a single issue. When you find a magazine you want to read, tap the magazine to open the magazine page in the list.

The left side of the page as shown in Figure 8 shows the cover thumbnail image for the most recent issue. To the right of the cover thumbnail image, you can tap the blue button under Buy issue to purchase the issue at the price noted in the button. If you want to purchase a year’s worth of magazines, such as the ten issues for the Harvard Business Review, tap the $79.00 US button under ten issues.

Figure 8 Tap the $79.00 US button to purchase ten issues of the Harvard Business Review.

You can preview the magazine by tapping the Preview button that appears below the magazine cover thumbnail image.  The cover image appears on the screen and you can swipe left to right to view pages within the magazine. Return to the magazine page by tapping on the screen and then tapping the Back icon in the status bar.

If there are past issues that you can view, a list of those issues appears in the Single Issues list on the right side of the screen. Tap an issue in the list so you can view information about that issue on the left side of the screen.

Zinio also has a number of free articles that you can read. In the Shop page, tap the Explore Free Articles icon (the icon that looks like an eye) to open the Explore Free Articles screen and then view articles in a variety of categories.

Books in Kobo

In the Readers Hub home screen, you can read books within the Kobo sub-app by tapping Books. The Terms of Use screen opens so you can review the terms of service. Tap the Agree button when you’ve finished reading the terms.

The Kobo Welcome screen appears so you can sign in with your Kobo account (or create one), shop for e-books, or visit your library of books you’ve already purchased. Start shopping for e-books by tapping the Shop for eBooks icon. The store home page appears as shown in Figure 9 with a list of books in the Today’s Top 50 category at the top of the screen and categories in the Popular Categories section.

Figure 9 Swipe down the screen to view all popular categories within the Popular Categories section.

The Today’s Top 50 list only shows the top three bestsellers in Kobo’s database. View all fifty bestselling books by tapping the Today’s Top 50 category name at the top of the list. The Today’s Top 50 screen appears and you can swipe up and down the list to view six of the fifty books on the screen. Tap the right arrow button below the list to view the next six books in the list.

Tap the book title in the list to view the book information page shown in Figure 10. This page includes:

  • Cumulative book ratings from other Kobo users, with five stars being best
  • The price of the book
  • The book author and language
  • A brief synopsis of the book

Figure 10 Swipe down the book information page to read the entire book synopsis.

You can also read a preview by tapping Get Preview underneath the book cover thumbnail image. If you haven’t signed in with your Kobo or Facebook account, you can sign in using either account or you can sign up for a Kobo account. Note that if you sign in with a Facebook account, you’ll see the installation page so you can connect Kobo to your Facebook account by tapping the Install button at the upper right corner of the screen.

After you log in, you’ll see the book page again and you’ll need to tap the Get Preview link again. (This won’t happen with any other books you preview.) The Kobo app downloads the preview to your Library. Tap the Library button in the upper left corner of the screen to view the books in the Library page. Open the reading screen by tapping the book tile in the Books, By Last Read list.

You can swipe to the left and right in the screen to move back and forth between pages. When you’re finished reading, you can return to the Library page by tapping the Back icon in the status bar. Then tap the Store button in the upper left corner of the screen to return to the book information page. Purchase the book by tapping the Buy Now button and then entering your payment and billing information in the Checkout page.

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