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I'd like to know how easy people find it to read the Globe and Mail digital edition on the iPad.

Again, I am looking specifically for feedback on the Globe2Go app on the iPad so please don't tell us what its like on the iPhone etc

Thanks in advance
 

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Using Globe2Go on the iPad

I've been using G2G on my iPad for about 10 days nows. Still in the trial mode but will likely subscribe. Our G&M subscription was up for renewal just as I got my iPad so I thought we'd try it out rather than renew the dead tree version.

After a couple of days I really started to like it. I was using the G&M website as my source of info. I think the Globe's site is one of the better out there for newspapers. According to the person from the G&M subscription department that called me this morning the website contains about 20% of what is in the paper. The website also has content not in the print or G2G version. The site does have the advantage of instant updates whenever necessary.

The "read to me" button doesn't always work and when you click on a headline. The popup window doesn't always start at the beginning of the article - a few works are truncated. A couple of paragraphs in some cases. It usually works though.

Pros: Very convenient. Gives a real newspaper experience compared to the G&M mobile app or the website. Readability is good. You get the ads in the paper. Sometimes you want the "real" advertising vs. the website advertising. Use of the touch screen us well done.

Cons: Can't share it. Reading the paper has become an individual experience. When you zoom in it usually takes a second for the text to refresh and become crisp. Does the search on the Library actually do anything? Font style is fixed in popup, not a huge issue. The size is changeable. Some page flips don't always work if you're scrolled down a page.

I hope more papers follow this model. I'd like to see something similar for magazines too. The Wired magazine model doesn't work for me - 600 megs of non-searchable graphics per issue. I want a single place to view all my disposable media. Zinio is a good model for this, but not a great execution.

Cudos to the team that put G2G together. It's a good implementation of a newspaper on the iPad. The iPhone version is much tougher to use.
 

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Thanks ZAK. You're one guy I knew would be on this. The can't share it option is problematic and one I discussed with the boss of the family.

As a workaround, you do get the Globe2Go offering so the second person could read on the computer but you can't really curl up in a comfy chair with a desktop!
 

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I tend to get up early and the G2G version is released long before I'm up so I can usually get most of it read before the rest of the household wakes up.

I'm not as keen on the desktop version of the G2G app. The content is the same but the experience is different.

I've been writing a blog about how successful we've been replacing traditional media in our house with the iPad. Once I'm finished editing I'll post the link.

The one thing Apple doesn't tell you is you'll likely want more than one iPad in a house.
 

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Hugh

Are you aware of the 2 week free trial of the Globe and Mail through Globe2Go?

There was a large ad in yesterday's Globe and Mail about this. One of the applications I wanted to try out on getting my iPad was reading newspapers. I have been busy on other things, World Cup included but did make the effort to get in on the two week trial as I usually get 2 or 3 Globe and Mails a week, including the Saturday one.

I just downloaded my first free issue, today's paper, and have just glanced at a few pages and tried out the articled expander function. Seems nice. I should be able to comment further in a few days. I particularly want to see how the Saturday's paper works out on the iPad.

It will be about the same price as the papers I am now buying in a month is $20. I am pretty sure that the convenience and custom of reading a newspaper is going to be difficult to overcome but I am sure going to give it a try.
 

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Are you aware of the 2 week free trial of the Globe and Mail through Globe2Go?
Yes. Using it on iPhone.
 

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Hugh

Ah, I didn't know you had it on the iPhone. You do have an an iPad too, don't you? As the app seems to be tied to an Email address, can't you at least set it up for a two week trial on the iPad as well as the iPhone using different Email addresses? Being tied to only one device at $20 a month will be pricey for people or families with many devices. Hey, a big plus for the newspaper.

My situation is I have a desktop and the iPad and don't like reading that much on the desktop. I certainly have come to prefer the iPad for now so it should work okay for me to set it up on the iPad.
 

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no iPad here. I have seen Globe2Go on iPad briefly and was impressed but really got my hands wet on the iPhone.
 

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Hugh

Sorry that I am continually confused on what I have read and think I have read. I obviously confused you with someone else that picked up an iPad.

I will try therefore try and get back to you on my thoughts as soon as possible.
 

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My 2-week trial has run out but I will likely subscribe and drop my paper subscription. Having the two side by side, I think I read more of the Globe on my iPad than on paper. I may have missed it, but I'd like a way to flag stories I want to read later. Breakfast doesn't last long enough to consume the entire Globe, but at least one can keep a week's editions around without cluttering the house and it is searchable, etc.

I tried G2G on my iPad Touch but the format is too small to be practical, IMO.

I also tried the Wall Street Journal app for iPad and prefer the functionality of G2G and would really like to see The New York Times come out with a full edition like this. Then I could save a whole forest every week. As it is the NYT iPad app is editors' choice/lead stories only. There is a desktop NYT reader but it's no where near the iPad experience.
 

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I subscribed for the free trial but I wasn't overly impressed - I preferred just reading from the Globe's website which is more timely and contains some stuff like blogs that doesn't always make it into the paper. But I am not sure what is not on the web page but is in the paper and globe2go version - other than the print ads.
 

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Secure server?

My G2G trial expired today. Figured I'd go for the annual subscription to it. Went to the site to sign up and was surprised to see that the connection to their server (newspapersdirect.com) was not https.

Their website does not look 100% standard - they have some fairly fancy looking code running, not Flash so it is possible that there is a secure connection in there, but it is not displaying as such in Safari on my Mac.

This both surprised and concerned me. I emailed newspapersdirect.com to see what their response is.
 

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Huge fan of it here. It was exactly what I was looking for in an "iPad newspaper".

As others have stated above, it still has a few bugs, most problematic being the pop-up windows (from tapping the headline) sometimes having trouble following the flow of the actual story. I appears to get "lost" if there's a photo caption in the middle of a story or a column break that's somewhat irregular.

I wonder if they're working on a way to make the newspaper ads hyperlinked - to me that'd be a nice extra selling point to advertisers. And hopefully, it'd drive down the price a bit. ;)

My issue is that I just don't read the paper during the week - never able to make time for it; if I could pay a couple dollars per month for Saturday only editions, I'd sign up for sure.

I haven't looked at the price at all - is the price the same as regular subscription price?
 

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RE: Secure Server update

Tried again this morning. The server comes up as secure now. Never heard from them. Bought my subscription to Globe2Go.

Newspapersdirect.com is based in Vancouver. They produce electronic versions of a LOT of newspapers.
 

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The following is my first impression of the Globe2Go iPad reader app for the electronic edition of the Globe and Mail newspaper or, as I will abbreviate, G2G. I signed up for a two week free subscription last Thursday.

The G2G is a reader app like the iBook reader functionality added in the latest update to display files formated in PDF or a similar document exchange file format.

First a summary of the Globe and Mail hardcopy paper.
It comes in sections, typically 5 or more. Each page in a section has a section page number. The page size is about 12" wide by 22.75" long. Each page is divided into 6 columns of 2 " around which page layout is based and which article body text is usually formated. Pictures, diagrams and some text can be formated to occupy multiple columns as needed.
The iPad display area is 6" wide by 8" long in portrait mode or 8" wide by 6" in landscape mode. When the G2G app is active a thin bar is permanently at the top showing the iPad status. The rest of the screen is used as the G2G display area.

Before getting into the details of using this app to read an issue of the Globe and Mail, I will briefly describe what I know about the other modes of the app.

The MyLibrary mode lets one select an issue of the paper from those stored on the iPad, manually download an issue, delete an issue from the iPad, try to establish a WiFi connection if not connected and set the default Zoom value when reading. The listing of issues displays the regional issue name, the date and the number of pages in the issue. I haven't figured out the specific details of all these functions and will have to continue experimenting unless I can find detailed instructions on how to use this app.

The Read Paper mode uses the G2G display area to display the papers content and an app control bar. The app control bar can be toggled on and off by finger tapping once near the top of the iPad display. The control bar has a link to the MyLibrary page, a display of the apps page number and number of pages in the paper, buttons to move the preceding and following pages and a link to display a pop-up-window showing links to move to certain paper sections. As far as I can tell there is no way to jump to a specific page although that would not be very useful because of the way the reader works.

Now to displaying paper content. The reader displays content at a default Zoom value depending on whether it is portrait mode or landscape mode. I will use the Adobe PDF reader Zoom convention here. 100% zoom is showing the original size page whereas as value of 50% shows the page at a size of one quarter. The default value for Zoom in portrait mode is 50%. That is the paper width fits the 6" width of the iPad in portrait mode but the 22.75 " length gets reduced to about 11.4" which doesn't fit in the 8" length of the iPad. Therefore, in portrait mode, one has to scroll vertically to read the whole page. Moving to preceding or following pages can be accomplished by the normal iPad finger swipes or by using the buttons in the app control bar when it is set to visible. At a Zoom mode of 50% a Globe and Mail column is one inch wide and most text is readable but my 68 year old eyes find it tiring to read for any length of time. One solution is to use the normal iPad zoom finger motions to zoom in and out as required with the necessary scrolling. Doable but not nice. The landscape mode`s default zoom is 75% so that the print is bigger than in portrait mode but it takes more than two page length images to display a full page. One thing I have not tried is to set the app`s default to a higher value that will be comfortable to read for the standard body text and then do more scrolling to cover the page info. I don`t think that would be very nice so I`ll leave that to later or never.

The G2G app thus offers a nice additional functionality over the iBook PDF functionality: the article-pop-up-window. I don`t know what its name really is so I`ll use mine. When the app control bar is visible, the article headlines have a blue and white symbol at the right hand edge that can be tapped to bring up the article-pop-up-window to display the whole article at a Zoom level of about 110% and with articles spread over 2 pages combined into one scrollable article. The article-pop-up-windows has the following control buttons at the top: previous, list links to newspaper sections, next. The bottom of the pop-up-window shows controls to increase and decrease text size, a text-to-voice start button and for my system, a blanked out symbol for sending the article by Email. The symbol to send the article by Email is blanked out on my system as I haven`t enable an Email account on my iPad yet. The article can be read by scrolling vertically through it. There seems to be a problem with this functionality as the article-pop-up-window size does not always stretch from the top of the app display window to the bottom. I have been able to discern a pattern to this yet but it should always be top to bottom. When I change from portrait to landscape orientation the pop-up-window does shrink as it should but it dosn't`t expand when changing from landscape to portrait. The pop-up-window is closed by tapping once outside of the pop-up-window area.

Further to the page numbering. The Globe and Mail has many articles spread over more than one page. When an article is continued on another page you see a text string, SEE xxx PAGE n where xxx is a text label and n is the section page number where to article is to be continued. These page number references are really useless except for those in the Front Page Section where the See Page n will correspond to the app page number. In other sections of the paper there will be no correspondence.
Overall, I find the G2G app to be usable but will to confirm with more experience. Good thing for the two week free subscription. The problem(s) with the article-pop-up-windows are annoying as maximum display area should be used to minimize scrolling when it is used. I will likely be using the app in portrait mode, default Zoom and using the article-pop-up-window to read longer articles.

Added at the last minute. The globe2go.newspaperdirect.com web site has a quick users guide page for Globe2Go but it doesn't correspond to my version. I'll keep looking
 

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Warning about globe2go

Once you subscribe you will never be able to unsubscribe. There is no one to talk to at the provider company and they don't respond to emails. You will end up fighting it out with your credit card company.

Oh and btw, you can get a digital subscription through Kobo now for about $15.

Now, to return to the original question, it's better than nothing from a usability standpoint but not at all an optimized digital format. The absolute minimum of effort has gone into making this newspaper friendly for iPads.

Hope this helps.
 

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Once you subscribe you will never be able to unsubscribe. There is no one to talk to at the provider company and they don't respond to emails. You will end up fighting it out with your credit card company.

Oh and btw, you can get a digital subscription through Kobo now for about $15.

Now, to return to the original question, it's better than nothing from a usability standpoint but not at all an optimized digital format. The absolute minimum of effort has gone into making this newspaper friendly for iPads.

Hope this helps.
For the record, they do seem to be awake at the switch. following is the Globe & Mail's email to me from today and my response:

"Ok, all this works fine, thank you.

For the record, I dug around and I could find in the way of contact information was a phone number for a Richmond BC office which I called and was advised to send an email, which I did and to which no one bothered responding to. It wasn’t even G&M it was some other distribution company.

It’s not just an issue with the ipad, it’s an issue with your lack of effective communication to your customers. None of the information you kindly supplied is available anywhere (that can be easily found) online on your website or otherwise.

I had forgotten my password and the form presented on the ipad did not permit password retrieval and as mentioned nothing related on your website to be found - no communiqué anywhere that advises one as to how to access and manage their account.

So with all this in mind I had become very frustrated, angry and suspicious of what I felt to be a silly little game you were playing with your customers, Certainly I expected better integrity from such an esteemed brand as the Globe & Mail.

The general user experience your product provides is generally ok however there is plenty of room for improvement. I am a lifelong reader of the G&M and will continue my subscription however due to the illogical fact that subscribing through Kobo is 25% less expensive I will opt to source the newspaper through that service.

There is no doubt or plausible excuse to the fact you could be providing a more transparent service and better product to your subscribers and so you should. It’s not like your giving it away, you demand a high price for the service and the product should be commensurate with that fact. To start with you might make yourself more available to your customers.

Sincerely,
Cleve Stordy"


From: xxx
Sent: November-25-10 10:52 AM
To: 'xxxt'

Subject: Globe2Go - unsubscribing

"Hi Cleve,

I noticed you posted a note on a blog about the inability to unsubscribe.
We know it's an issue for iPad usersand are trying to address a little better but here are 2 options:

1. You can modify any part of your account at the Globe2Go website here: www.globeandmail.com/globe2go
…. But you will have to access from a flash enabled browser … which is a big part of the issue.

2. You can e-mail xxxx in customer service (cc'ed here) and she can help you out.

I hope this helps.
All the best,

"
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I am having difficulty as I am currently being charged twice by the company. I paid an annual fee but they are still charging me monthly.

EDIT: I got a hold of the company. They are in Vancouver hence why I had to wait until afternoon to get a hold of someone.

They were very nice and are going to get me a refund of overpayments. My problem was a weird one (too long to explain here but suffice to say that it would be pretty much impossible to replicate again.) but it should be resolved.
 
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