Friday, March 1, 2013

The Times & Sunday Times updated app runs into major trouble, company readies new update to fix crashes

Earlier this month The Times (UK) released an updated iPad app that combined the daily Times with the Sunday Times into one app. In the US App Store the app is known as The Times of London, to obviously differentiate it from the NYT's popular app; in the U.K. the app is called The Times & The Sunday Times.

In both App Stores readers have given the paper the once over thanks to bugs that are making the app crash. The reviews are merciless, with 135 one-star reviews to only 8 five-star (who are those five-star reviewers, anyways?).

Tom Whitwell, Head of Digital for The Times and Sunday Times, was forced to respond with a note to readers:
Dear reader,

As you know, last week we released a major update to The Times iPad app. This was in response to many readers’ suggestions on how to improve our products. The Times and The Sunday Times are now available as one app, which includes live breaking news, access to more puzzles, overnight Newsstand delivery and storage for up to 31 days of editions.

However, we are aware that some readers are having problems with the new app and we are working very hard to address these. We’ve made some initial changes in a new version that will be in the App Store within a few days. This will improve Newsstand overnight downloads and app stability.

Based on your direct feedback, our development team have identified a number of further performance enhancements that we are now testing and developing. Before launching this app we invested in a very rigorous test process. Over 600 readers generously tested the app for a total of 20,000 hours, offering feedback that has been invaluable. Like all iPad apps, it was tested by Apple before release. Unfortunately, it was not enough.

Not every reader has been able to enjoy the app as we intended. For this we offer our sincere apologies for the inconvenience and our thanks for the time you have spent describing your experience. Every bit of information makes it easier to diagnose and resolve problems.

From talking to you over the last few days we have identified that the most acute issues are linked to the level of memory available on certain iPads. In many cases this can be improved on the device itself. To help with this we have produced a guide to ensuring that your tablet runs as smoothly as possible, which you can find by tapping or clicking on the tab at the top of this article...