The Guardian‘s long-rumoured iPhone app has at last hit the iTunes App Store and brings with it a number of attractive features.
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The Guardian’s app is sophisticated, with content fully search-able by Topic, Section or Contributor (each of whom has their own bio-page which features a chronological list of their articles).
Each headline carries underneath it a small yellow icon which reveals a floating sub-menu which serves up context related links.
High quality images are stored in the Galleries section with each set of photographs viewable as a set of thumbnails.
All of The Guardian podcasts, along with additional audio snippets are available in the Audio section and all content can be ‘Favourited’ using Star icon which appears throughout the app.
From a performance perspective, the app performs very quickly indeed. There is also an in-app option to alter font-sizes for easier readability.
Overall, The Guardian iPhone application is a class act, although a significant drawback in the first release is perhaps the limited range of sharing options. Surprisingly, given the extensive range of available Guardian Twitter-feeds, articles can only be shared by email or to Facebook. Gallery photographs can only be shared via email.
The app does, however, borrow from Twitter’s vernacular with the inclusion of a page of ‘Trending’ stories although just where these stories are trending is unclear.
So, despite a significant step-up in functionality, the main thing setting this app apart from its immediate competitors is the price.
It undoubtedly looks the part, but given that Guardian content is already extensively streamed in full via Twitter, RSS and other sources, only you can decide whether or not it’s worth the price of a skinny-latte-to-go.