Greg Ferro - Work to Live

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Review: Guardian Newsstand App for iPad (Newspaper)

I've been using the Guardian apps for the iPhone and iPad for a year or more. I've been reading the newspaper for much longer than that (I read papers on the left and right side of politics to in the hope of getting a somewhat balanced view - wishful thinking probably)

When the Guardian released their newsstand app for the iPad I was pleased to sign up and pay the subscription in Oct/Nov last year and support the business.

Today, I cancelled my subscription in frustration.

There are two primary reasons for this:

  1. Advertising.
  2. Crashing.


My first and major complaint is the display ads. I'm tired of having content shoved in my face and constantly distracting me from my task. The ads that show in iPad app are full screen and require a click through. Because the "hot spots" on the page that click out to a website are in the same place as the page turn, I find that Safari opens.

This is dishonest. Flat out, infuriatingly, steal my screen time, infest my eyeballs type of dishonest.

Finally, the Guardian app is constantly reporting back analytics to their servers. It's consuming precious bandwidth from my 3G allowance for zero benefit.

I have the view that I've paid for the privilege to have a copy of the Guardian content, it should not be further encumbered with advertising.


The final problem is that the app has started crashing regularly - starting from January. Most times on startup it will crash twice before staying open. When downloading the paper is will crash every second time during the download. And when reading the content it will also crash repeatedly.

As this is the only iPad app that crashes for me, I can only assume it is poor programming.

Summing Up

I could barely tolerate the ads in the early versions but the latest versions have many more ads and have spoiled the experience. When added to the app constantly crashing I'm cancelling my subscription and will stop reading newspaper altogether. I might buy the paper version occasionally, but I doubt it - it's doesn't work for my lifestyle anymore.

I don't have a better option than that.