The Guardian Anywhere
Apr 24, 2010 5:00 AM –
The Guardian Anywhere. Read the acclaimed Guardian newspaper on your phone with this UNOFFICIAL application. A new type of news application, optimized for reading offline. Features: download while you sleep, extensive tag support, use any picture as wallpaper, more features for longterm users, home screen widget.
AndroidTapp.com Android App Review:
Pros & Cons:
- Can set large downloads to occur only when a Wi-Fi network is detected
- Content is available offline
- Excellent customization and sharing options
- Downloads can be quite large
- No pinch-to-zoom
Guardian Anywhere is an app aimed squarely at commuters and students as it allows you to download a version of the Guardian newspaper from its website’s RSS feeds and to read it offline at your leisure. Each ‘issue’ can be set to automatically download over night so that it is available to read the instant you wake up. The size of the download can be pretty big (my first complete issue took 8 minutes to download over an 8Mbit/s line) so Guardian Anywhere helps you out by allowing you to limit the app to only download content via an available Wi-Fi network. This handy feature means you can schedule the download to occur in your home or place of work without having to take out a loan to pay for the necessary data plan.
Once downloaded you can browse the stories by category or by how recently they have been published. There is also separate author and tag clouds to filter relevant stories though these are of limited use. There are loads of really great features available to the user when reading individual stories. You have the option to share the whole story or just the images within it on Del.icio.us, Facebook and Twitter as well as other 3rd party apps installed on your device. For instance you can insert them into blog posts and publish them with the official WordPress app. Individual stories can be saved to a personal ‘newspaper’ available from the app home screen whilst images can be saved to a really nice gallery feature, and if you happen to like any in particular you can even set it as your wallpaper. Unfortunately the images in your favourites gallery don’t seem to be exportable to your computer.
The app comes with the ability to set the top story from as many categories as you want as widgets on your device home screen, though each widget takes up a lot of space and they don’t show dynamic content. Those of you who already have your home screens filled with apps and widgets will probably want to avoid these.
The Guardian Anywhere Saved Articles
The Guardian Anywhere ‘Film’ Category
The Guardian Anywhere Tag cloud screen
The features that make this app incredibly useful are the settings that allow you to schedule downloads and to limit them to only happen when in areas of strong Wi-Fi signal. This means that the app can theoretically live in the background, meaning you will have a new newspaper in the morning without having to always re-enter the app. As already mentioned the download does take a while so it’s not for those in a hurry but for those with a set routine, it could be a godsend.
Ease of Use:
Provided you read The Guardian newspaper the app uses a set of simple tabs and buttons which anyone familiar with a touch screen (that’s everyone right?) will be able to use immediately. Unfortunately there is no multi-touch so don’t expect any pinch-to-zoom but the zoom buttons work well and the paragraphs reformat instantly.
This is an app that can be used every day on your commute or when you can catch a spare moment and is even usable on a plane.
The interface is simple without a single bell or whistle and is all the better for it. It’s trying to be a newspaper after all. It takes design cues from the official Guardian website and newspaper without looking like a cheap rip off. The only thing that really lets this app down is its tag clouds. They look really nice but there are only a few different sizes of tag so they don’t act as particularly good indicators of use.