City Papers User Guide & FAQ 

** The current version of City Papers is 1.1, released 18 October 2012

The Basics
Tips, Tricks and Miscellanea
Using the Paper Browser Options

The Basics

  • Using City Papers is easy and intuitive. It just works :)
  • The world of online newspapers is very dynamic. Things change. Sometimes sites will disappear, or they may erect a paywall, or be offline for a brief period, or simply change the URL to access the site. You can really help me improve City Papers by using the Report Website Issue button in the Share action menu (when using the paper viewer).
  • I will be adding additional sites to the database over time. You can influence this list. If you have a favorite newspaper that you would like to see added, use the In-App Mail to let me know.
  • Why English only? If you are fluent in English, it is fun to browse the world and find papers which you can easily read. I might consider adding foreign language papers in future updates, but would want a way to easily identify them if you don't speak the language.
  • City Papers offers a wide array of options for sharing links from websites. Actions include: Report Website Issue, Copy, Open in Safari and SMS (iPhone only). Services include Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instapaper, Read It Later, Evernote and Pinboard. The last three items used will show up on the primary menu. Be sure to tap More for access to the full set of choices.
  • Tap on the star icon when viewing a paper to toggle it as a favorite.
  • Mobile vs. Full Sites. For several reasons, I always use the main website URL in City Papers. Many sites offer mobile versions (generally applicable to iPhone & iPod touch). Often the mobile site will be automatically selected. Other times you might find a link on the website for "mobile".
  • Sites with Flash. Fortunately this is quickly becoming less of an issue, but some sites still use a lot of Flash media. Since Flash isn't supported on iOS, this can result in odd displays and/or occasional messages saying, "you must update your Flash player" or something similar.
  • Paywalls are becoming increasingly common among newspapers in a struggle to try and survive in the digital age. There are many variations on paywalls. I try to identify sites that I know have paywalls.      
    • Paywall (full) - These sites will often show only short headlines and the instant you tap on any link will not grant access until you subscribe.
    • Paywall (delayed) - These sites will allow you to read a certain number of articles per month (often 15-20) before the articles will be blocked without a subscription.
    • Paywall (partial) - This is a catchall and covers many variations. Some sites will only block the latest news, but release the article after it is a week old. Others will give a lot of the article, but not the entire thing. Some seem to have paywalls on their main sites, but not when viewed on a mobile device.
    • Registration Required - These sites require you to register (without charge) before viewing the articles.
  • Have fun using City Papers. I hope it brings you closer to friends and family who might be scattered across the globe. And enjoy the different perspectives on news and events. It is a very big world :)

Tips, Tricks and Miscellanea

  • The built-in web browser in City Papers offers a full range of default gestures. You can use two fingers in a pinch motion to zoom in or out. This is particularly useful for sites that don't offer a mobile view. Also, you can double-tap to zoom in on a section and double-tap again to zoom out.
  • When sharing a link, some sites will always return the home page link regardless of what article you are reading. This will render the sharing a bit meaningless, but fortunately it is a rare occurrence.
  • You can tap on a phone number or email address on a website and it will perform the appropriate action.
  • Swipe right on the titlebar of the Browse menu to instantly jump back to the main screen.
  • On the iPad, you can tap the Browse button to go back a previous level (this is an alternative to pressing the back button on the titlebar).
  • City Papers has full support for landscape and portrait orientations on all devices.
  • Quick Lists are handy for visiting a group of sites, such as places you've lived in your life, or places where your friends live. When you tap on an existing Quick List, it will open the paper viewer to the first site in the list. You can then use the gestures (swipe left/right or tap-and-hold home button) to switch between papers.
  • If you want to go directly to a specific paper on a Quick List, tap on the right arrow to open the edit mode and then tap on any item in the list to start viewing with that paper.
  • If you own multiple iOS devices (such as an iPhone and an iPad) the Extras Package will use iCloud to sync your Favorites and Quick Lists between devices.
  • The map view offers a full range of default gestures. You can use two fingers in a pinch motion to quickly zoom in or out. A single-finger double-tap will zoom in and a double-finger single-tap will zoom out.
  • Zoom in on the map to show papers. They will show up in several stages and two pin colors.  First, you will start seeing blue pins as you zoom in. These are used to identify localities that have multiple papers (and in many countries, there is a single blue pin to represent all the papers for that country). Next, you will see orange pins, which represent individual papers. 
  • Tap on the map pins for details about the papers. For multiple papers, tapping on the blue arrow button will provide a list of papers. For single papers, tapping on the blue arrow button will bring up that paper for viewing.
  • When using  search in the map view, you might find odd results in some cases. For example, if you type a state name, it might find a close-by river with the same name. In that case, typing "state of ohio" or whatever should work. Also, multi-word cities might produce odd results sometimes.
  • The locate-me button (next to the search button in the titlebar) will quickly locate your general area on the map.
  • You can rearrange Favorites by tapping on the Edit button and dragging the rows in the order you wish (using the grabber icons on the right side).

Using the Paper Browser Options

  • You can configure the Paper Browser features from Settings > Paper Browser.
  • There are several gestures which make using City Papers more convenient and fun. They are all three-finger gestures. Swipe left or right to cycle between pages in a Quick List (or your Favorites if not viewing a Quick List). Swipe up to go back to the previous page. Swipe down to close the paper viewer.
  • Why three finger gestures? One and two fingers are already in use. On the iPad, four fingers would be nice, but that conflicts with the multitasking gestures. So, three fingers was chosen as it works well and is consistent.
  • A long press on the home button will select the next paper (either from a Quick List or your Favorites if not viewing a Quick List).