The news as a tag cloud in Guardian Anywhere
The Guardian is probably the most tech-savvy of Britain’s national papers but it doesn’t offer an Android app version of its dead-tree product (even though the paper has a successful iPhone app, and proudly unveiled another Apple app at the iPad’s launch).
So a Brighton-based independent developer has stepped into the gap, and created this app that assembles a digital version of the title for Android owners scraped together from the rag’s various online news-feeds.
The single biggest benefit of Guardian Anywhere is that it provides you with the ability to download a complete “edition” of the paper onto your handset at any time. Better still, the app can even be set to automate this process over Wi-Fi. This means Android fans can enjoy their daily digital Guardian, grabbed as they get themselves dressed in the morning.
The download doesn’t just include news. Pieces from the sprawling, online-only Comment Is Free section of the newspaper’s website figure prominently too. Unfortunately, the actual comments themselves aren’t available for you to read – just the initial articles, which is frankly only half the job.
If you opt to include pictures, be aware that this adds up to a hefty file that will then take between 10 and 30 minutes to download over Wi-Fi. It is definitely not a task that should be attempted over 3G, then, where you should stick with the text-only option if you bother at all.
With regular usage, the app will begin to display a “tag cloud” of your most-read types of story when you launch it. You can mark any of these for later reading, or share them through the usual social-networking channels. A nice touch.
The Bottom Line
Impressive, yet slightly hit-and-miss app that will have to do until the Guardian gives Android the recognition it deserves.
Version tested: 2.1.2
For all Android versions