With the news that Facebook paper is available now, tech lovers who like to get their hands on the latest will be raring to fire up their app stores and grab Facebook’s latest app to see what all the brouhaha is about. In truth, it’s really slick, pretty, and intuitive to use – a glimpse of the future, really – but there are two problems.

The first is that Paper is only available for iOS. Yes, sorry Android users, but Apple’s platform is extremely popular in America where it has more than 40% of the market share. There’s also the fact that it’s more of a known quantity: there are fewer screen sizes for iOS devices than Androids, and given the graphical layout of Paper it’s perhaps one of the reasons Facebook decided to stick to Apple’s platform. That and, you know, the fact that Google has a Facebook competitor…

While nothing can be done about this platform issue, a lot can be done about the second issue: Facebook Paper is only available in the US App Store. Now, South Africans will be all too familiar with this little bit of exclusion. During the dark days of not having games on the iTunes App Store, we became all too familiar with having a third-rate software selection. Many even resorted to creating American accounts, to access the goodness that fellow iPhone owners had access to across the pond.

Thankfully, you don’t need to create an American account to download Paper. It’s as simple as swapping stores. Check it out.


1) Make sure you’re signed into your South African (or non-American) iTunes account, on either your iPad or iPhone.

2) Open up the App Store, and scroll to the bottom. Select “Apple ID: <[email protected]>”.

3) On the box that pops up, select “View Apple ID”.

4) Now that you’re viewing your account details, select “Country/Region”. This will have the flag of your current region next to it.

5) You’ll now be prompted to change your country or region. Continue with this step.

6) Select USA in the list of countries and continue. Accept the new conditions for the US App Store.

7) You’ll now be prompted for billing information. It’s not possible to use your South African credit card with the store – so simply select “None” as your payment method. This is important – and since Paper is a free app, it won’t matter if you don’t have a payment method.

8) In your address details, remember to choose an American ZIP code.

9) You’ll now be in the American App Store, and can download any of the free apps there. Grab Paper, and then repeat all the steps above to return to the SA store.

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.