Friday, April 22, 2011

The Globe and Mail releases a completely new universal app as its mobile strategy continues to evolve and expand

I believe this makes three different mobile apps that the Canadian daily newspaper The Globe and Mail has released. No matter, the evolving apps continue to get better, and one senses that the newspaper is starting to feel comfortable in its digital media strategy.
When I was looking at the new tablet edition from the Orange County Register I searched for other apps that I felt looked and felt a lot like that new one. One app that crossed my mind was the Spreed developed app The Globe and Mail for iPad. But launching that app yesterday brought up a dead app. 'What was going on?' I wondered.

What was going on was that the newspaper was about to release its third app that works for the iPad. The Globe and Mail: News makes three: three apps that all are branded in "Globe and Mail", and all are still available in the App Store. The other app, The Globe and Mail's Globe2Go, is a replica app produced by NewspaperDirect.

Ignoring for a second the wisdom of having your brand image confused with so many apps, this new free app from the publisher is probably the direction the newspaper wants to go in.
Since the app is free, and for now, at least, so is the content, I will leave it up to you who are interested to check it out and make your own evaluation. Suffice it to say that it is a 'traditional' approach (if such a word can be used for a style this is only a year old) to building tablet newspaper editions.

The app, as mentioned in the headline, is universal, so will work for your iPhone, as well. The Globe and Mail also has mobile apps for both the BlackBerry and Android platforms, as well. I suppose a tablet app for both platforms should be their next move.

While it may appear that the paper is simply throwing things out to see what will work, having used all their apps in the past I sense that this new app is where they are going. The next move they have to contemplate (and probably are) is whether they will begin charging for access to content.

While there are no reviews inside the U.S. App Store for the new app from The Globe and Mail, there are already a number of reviews inside the Canadian store. The majority of users are very positive, though a couple of users mentioned the old Spreed app and lamented its demise.

The biggest complaint seems to be that the old app allowed for offline reading – and that certainly is important.

But the paper already is aware of some of the issues. Here is what their current app description has to say:
This app is a living product. We have a lot of updates planned for the next few months -- things like search, weather, push notifications -- but we'd also like your feedback: What killer feature have we missed? What can we change to make Globe News more useful to you?

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

I just read the news from Spreed and how they were dumped by the Globe and Mail via the old Globe and Mail app on iPad. I downloaded both the Spreed FP app (or updated, actually) and downloaded the Globe app. Spreed FP still has nice interface, improved, actually. The Globe interface, how shall I say it, sucks in terms of readability and intuitiveness. On top of that, it booted me out every time I tried to click on a story. Nice work, guys.