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