MavEtJu's Distorted View of the World

Online newspapers, waiting on the iPhone to load them

Posted on 2011-03-02 18:00:00
Tags: Mass Media, iPhone

One of the uses of my iPhone is as a replacement for the newspapers and other news sources. Yes, I can do this on the computer too, so far nothing new. The thing which fascinates me is how much time I spend on waiting for the data to be retrieved.

Take the ABC app. On it, I only read two sections: The Just In section and The Drum. I open the app, have to wait for the Latest News section (which is not the Just In section) has been loaded, then I tap for the overview of the sections (which is instantly) and then tap on the Just In section, for which the overview gets loaded. To read an article, I tap on that article which then gets loaded. So I have to wait three times before I can read a single article, and every other article I need to wait again. Even after having read the ABC news this way for about a good year now, it still doesn't remember which news sections I'm interested in and doesn't pre-load them.

Take the SMH app. It is a little bit nicer, you can tell it which sections you are interested in and only shows those. It opens the one you opened last time up first. Could be close to a winner! But then it has the same cons as the ABC app: It loads the index and when you tap on the article you want to read it loads that one. Waiting twice again.

Take the Volkskrant app. It has two major sections, the Just In section and the Opinion section. When you start the app, the index of the Just In section gets loaded together with the text of all the articles. When you tap on an article, it comes up immediately and then loads any images: You can read it immediately. So you only wait once.

Take the BBC app. Just like the Volkskrant app, it loads the index and contents of the main sections at startup, which also has a lot of images on it. When the article gets loaded, it will load the image on the article.

The method of loading of content done by the BBC app and the Volkskrant app is by far the most ideal way of using an online news app. I am not yet sure if I prefer the sober layout of the Volkskrant or the smooth horizontal scrolling layout of the BBC. But overall, I am looking forward to the day the Australian news apps have caught up!

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