Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Hello

 

I just wanted to make a topic to share my thoughts about the Gramophone digital edition for android tablets.

I live in Belgium and an issue of Gramophone is rather expensive here when you buy the printed edition in a magazine store (9,20 euro or 7,90 £). In 2010-2011 I took a subscription on Gramophone to lower the cost p. issue a bit (but not that much) but it was frustrating to have to wait rather long before the issue arrived (most times the issue arrived more then 10 days after an issue was released in the magazine shops in Belgium (which is already a couple of days later then the release in the UK). So I cancelled my subscription and bought every issue in the shops like before.

But last week I finally bought a tablet (Google Nexus 7) and one of the first things I did was to take a subscription on Gramophone digital edition. You get new issues immediately and for the same (much lower) price as UK residents. For me it was a very good deal.

However, I have to say that I am slightly dissapointed (I'm actually really dissapointed) with the quality of the Android-edition. Scrolling through the magazine is very, very slow (every page needs some time to render properly). The Nexus 7 is a rather new and very fast tablet (1GB quad core) so the hardware is not the problem. Also, the whole magazine loads like a big picture (like a PDF-file) and you have to zoom in to be able to read the articles. Once you're at the bottom of a page, you to scroll your way back to the top. The problem with this is that once you are zoomed in, scrolling through the page is very very slow and uncomfortable because the scrolling happens in bits (not fluent at all, to say the least).

In fact, the Gramophone-app is not really an app, it is just a PDF-like reader, and not a very good one.

I don't want to be to negative. It's great that the complete archive is online and available for android users. For all the old magazines I think it is very understandable that these editions are loaded as pdf-like files. But for the new issues that are released every month, I think we may expect a lot more. This is 2013 after all. For example, you should be able to click on a article or review of a particular cd, and then this article or review should load as a in-app new screen or something where you can easily scroll down the whole article or review. Most papers in Belgium have that kind of system and it is very nice. Also, the whole app should be a lot faster in my opinion.

Also, I don't understand why the Ipad-app is of better quality (but not that much) than the Android-app. We pay the same price don't we?

Haymarket seems to distribute a lot of magazines and I really can't understand that they do not invest in a more modern and user-friendly reading experience (altough I'm not sure if this is the responsibilty of Haymarket or Gramophone itself).

I'm glad I didn't take a one year subscription. I took a three month subscription and I'll definitely cancel it. Once again I will go to the magazine shop and pay way too much for the printed and non-ecological edition.

I will keep an eye out for updates of the digital edition and once Gramophone dig.ed. is on par with competition I definitely will be back for another digital subscription.

Many greetings from Belgium (sorry for my bad english).

Arthur VD

PS: I still love Gramophone, it is just the app that I really don't like :-)

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Living in Belgium is interesting. I do like Bruges, a bit gothic but nice, a poor man's Venice but the beer is better. No one does beer like the Belgians. You don't get the credit you deserve for beer. I've never tried android tablets, are they a bit like E tabs. Amsterdam is over rated and so are the dutch. What is so great about cheese with holes in it. Or sticking your finger in a hole in a dam. The dutch have a thing about holes, most strange. Anyway thanks for the tip, I'll try android tablets tomorrow night. Bit of a rave planned. What should 20 quid get me.

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Hi Arthur VD,

Thank you for your feedback and giving the digital edition of the magazine a try. These things aren't to everyones tastes but I am obviously disapointed to hear that our digital magazine isn't what you were hoping for. I will try to answer what I think are your main reservations one at a time.

1. Slow page scrolling: Yes, this is slower than we would like, and is something that we are still looking at how to resolve. Sorry about that.

2. Flat zoom in image: There are a number of very innovative services out there for magazine readers which allow you to read each individual article in a dedicated reader. However, as we have added an entire 90 year archive it would have been impossible to go through 110,00 pages of content and divide them up in this way. Just getting the archive text rescanned was a bit of a challenge. I believe most Gramophone readers wouldn't want to lose this archive content in exchange for the bespoke reading experience.

3. iPad app is better: Are you using the Exactly app at the moment? If so I recognise that it isn't as optimised as the branded version available to Apple customers. From the March issue there will be a Kindle Fire app and I am hoping that improvements to the Android version won't be too far behind.

Again, thank you for the feedback. In  many ways the constructive criticism like this is the most useful kind of customer response we can get.

All the best,

Luca Da Re

Group Business Development Manager,

Gramophone

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Hello Luca,

Thank you for your reply, that's really appreciated and nice to see that Gramophone communicates with it's customers in such a direct way.

1. Glad to hear that Gramophone is aware of this problem and is looking for a solution. I this could be solved it would make the use of the app a lot nicer.

2. Yes, I understand that a dedicated reader program is not possible for the entire archive (I made the same remark in my first post as well :-) ) For me, I can only say that when I buy a 2013 issue of Gramophone my main concern is to be able to read the magazine that I bought i a decent way. If I buy a magazine in a book shop, I also pay for the magazine in the first place and not for the back issues or access to those back issues (altough I agree this is a fantastic extra, but an extra none the less). 

Would it not be possible to make a dedicated app for all new issues from 2013 on? With a united login and password it would be easy to use two different apps, one for the current issue and the 2013+ archive and one for the 2013- archive? 

3. Yes, I am using the Exactly app for the moment.

Kind regards

Arthur

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Hi Arthur,

Thank you for your reply. It would be technically possible to have two separate apps, but I am not sure that would be the best customer service - and it would create administrative headaches! When should a new issue be moved into the archive? Part of the attraction of the platform we are using is that if you buy directly through Gramophone (details here), you are able to access the archive on your computer, Apple or Android device. Many of our readers haven't bought a tablet yet so we wanted to ensure the archive was available to them as well.

I think the most important reason not do this is that two apps would have meant two charges which we certainly didn't think was fair. By putting the archive and the new issues in the same product our service is better value for money and more engaging than that of our competitors, while also encouraging our readers to try digital magazines because of the presence of the archive.

I do accept that there are better user experiences out there, but we are really pleased with how warmly the new service has been received by our readers and the wider publishing industry. Last weekend The Sunday Times listed the app as one of the top 500 apps in the world. We didn't lobby for this accolade but it certainly got Monday off to a good start.

Once again, thank you so much for your constructive feedback.

Kind Regards,

Luca Da Re

Group Business Development Manager,

Gramophone

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Luca, a quick question.

I read Gramophone both on my laptop and on my iPhone (no iPad at the moment). It seems to me that the print resolution is much better on the iPhone app than on the computer. Is this so?  I struggle with the two page spread on the computer, even though the print is not very small.  It is not just my computer resolution.  For example these forum texts can easily be read in much smaller size than the Gramophone text.  If nothing else can be done, perhaps, as the number of digital subscribers increases you might consider setting the main text in a more computer-friendly font?

Enjoying it though, especially the archive!

Chris

Chris A.Gnostic

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Hi Chris,

Thanks for getting in touch again and good to hear you are enjoying the archive.

You should be able to zoom in further than the two page spread by again clicking on the page you want to read. If you do that you should be able to get the page at a much higher resolution which hopefully will solve your problem. If not let me know.

Many thanks,

Luca Da Re

Group Business Development Manager,

Gramophone

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

I'm a Gramophone Digital Edition subscriber and must say that I'm still disappointed with the iPad App. My 3rd Gen Retina iPad runs the app fine until I zoom into an article. Once I zoom out again and want to go to the next page it basically does nothing, it doesn't respond to anything. Then I need to force-quit the app, enter again and continue as I wanted. The same happens on my iPhone (4th gen). Both have plenty of free memory, both are updated to the latest OS, none are jail-broken. This still smells like a bug to me.

Also, I'm not that impressed with the quality of the print on screen on the Retina iPad - the font looks nice but it's not crisp.

An update to address the above would be highly appreciated.

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Thanks for the reply Luca,

Of course you are right that I can zoom in and read the text clearly. What I was saying though is that I ought to be able to read the text in the two page spread.

If I zoom in on the laptop I only see half a page (top or bottom). I could turn the laptop sideways to read a single page in 'portrait' orientation, but that's not very practical. Many other apps can be read at similar font size on my (Mac) computer, and on the phone I can still easily read the text at a fraction of the size at which it becomes illegible on the computer. I don't have any problems with the phone app.

So, my question concerns the resolution of the image: is it actually the same for the Exact Editions computer version or is there higher resolution in the iPhone/iPad app?

Thanks,

Chris

 

 

Chris A.Gnostic

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Hi Ganymede,

I don't know whether it's relevant but I noticed in the newspaper that Vodaphone is recommending users not to upgrade yet to the latest IoS because of some glitches (intermittent) with both phone calls and internet use.

I've upgraded my iPhone and don't have any problems so far with Gramophone or anything else.

Anyway, apparently there will soon be another update from Apple to sort the problem out.

Chris

 

Just added: I've now noticed that although I don't have the problem with the current issue, when looking at a previous issue (December 2012) I have the same problem as you describe..  I've never had this problem before so suspect it is something to do with the new IoS.

Further addition: Apple has just announced (today: see the Telegraph) a new upgrade to fix the problem.  It seems though that it applied particularly to the 4S phone.

Chris A.Gnostic

RE: Gramophone Dig.ed. on android tablets

Hi Chris,

I think I understand your question - correct me if I'm wrong! When reading the archive magazines on the laptop, you will need to zoom in from the double page spreads (which are at a lower resolution), to the high-res single page images. If you want to be able to see the full page in your browser window at this resolution, try adjusting the width of your browser window. The website is set up to adjust the size of the image as the width reduces - and if you make the window narrow enough, you'll be able to see the whole page in one go.

Here's how it looks on my screen...

Rachel

Rachel Cramond

Gramophone Publishing Executive

Pages

Log in or register to post comments

Gramophone Subscriptions

From £48/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From £48/year
Subscribe
From £48/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From £48/year
Subscribe
From £48/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From £48/year
Subscribe
© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2014