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What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

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What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Bill S » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:19 pm

Seems to get more awkward to use every month! Seriously putting me off renewing. January is the worst yet - what’s happened? Love the mag, love the content but...
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby BJG145 » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:21 pm

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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby forumuser937135 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:10 am

I've subscribed via Apple App Store (already renewed for the next year in December), but this new format is really clunky and doesn't feel like reading a magazine anymore. Is there any way to switch the subscription away from the app store and change to direct subscription? As it is, I would much prefer to read the contents as pdfs.
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:50 am

You can certainly take out a subscription directly with SOS when you come to renew next December, but I'm afraid there is no way to switch your current sub from Apple as they are an entirely separate entity and there is no sharing of data between the AppStore and SOS.
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Bill S » Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:37 am

forumuser937135 wrote:I've subscribed via Apple App Store (already renewed for the next year in December), but this new format is really clunky and doesn't feel like reading a magazine anymore. Is there any way to switch the subscription away from the app store and change to direct subscription? As it is, I would much prefer to read the contents as pdfs.
You describe my feelings exactly. It just isn’t like reading a magazine anymore. My sub is due to renew soon - are you saying that by subscribing directly with SOS I can read the mag in the old format?
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Forum Admin » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:00 pm

Image

Hi Bill,

The old format is gone because our host developer has gone HTML5 only. We have wanted smartphone compatibility since 2012, and pinch-zoom and landscape — all are now available in v13.1 and in the few days since its release we've won encouraging numbers of brand new customers (especially on Android phones) since Thursday.

Our SOS-bought Digital sub includes a Full Issue PDF download which gives you the ‘print mag’ experience. This FI-PDF can be bought separately each month, for those who prefer to do so. See https://www.soundonsound.com/shop/magazine

Here are some free FI-PDF examples to try:

UK/World issue:
http://d3fcq9qv0jxneb.cloudfront.net/im ... -issue.pdf

North America issue:
http://d3fcq9qv0jxneb.cloudfront.net/im ... -issue.pdf

But it's not included in any Apple-bought SOS sub, only from SOS direct. Why?

Because Apple do not share with us who their customers are who buy an SOS sub/single issue from their App Store. SOS only receives a portion of the sub sale price, as Apple take commission and payment is deferred, and this effectively gobbles up a huge percentage of the small profit SOS makes on its Digital sub. We service the Apple-bought sub because Apple do not host anything, no music, no videos, no apps, no podcasts (they are merely a shopfront marketplace) -- and in addition, we get charged a fee for each download issue by our app hosting platform/developer.

But at least buying direct from SOS puts 100% of the purchase price (minus card payment gateway fees and VAT, if applicable) in our pockets and that's what lets us continue to develop and integrate the multiple ways to access our content using the SOS Digital subscription.

For instance, the page-turning Replica magazine, which works in browsers only, is another example of a bolt-on extra way to read our content that we've added last year. This is included as part of the DIGITAL SOS-bought subscription, but during Covid-19 we've made it free to everyone to read - see your MY ACCOUNT>REPLICA tab if you subscribe with us, or visit www.soundonsound.com/digital-magazine and sign up for free.
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Forum Admin » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:02 pm

Bill S wrote:Seems to get more awkward to use every month!

Hi Bill

Would appreciate some detail here to help us learn what you consider 'awkward' and how we might improve things.

The pre-Christmas change saw the app becoming Article-based rather than its previous Issue-based format. Again, we fought against this us being a monthly publication, but our app developers went ahead and changed how it works. Unless we abandon their platform and look elsewhere, we have little choice but to follow their new guidelines.

So what does Article-based mean in reality?

Well now the app (by default) needs a wi-fi or 4G connection most of the time -- if you swipe from one article to another you'll see a brief progress bar showing as it downloads that article from the host servers. HOWEVER, if you do not wish to use it this way you can tap the Cloud icon once in the top grey bar, and it will popup a dialogue box telling you the size of the download; tapping Yes will download the entire Issue (all Articles, including adverts). Once downloaded, the app works just like it did in 2020 and in effect becomes Issue-based, with no wi-fi/4G requirement so you can read it offline.

More about how the Cloud icons work in the hamburger menu's FAQs.

On 21st January the v13.1 app remained Article-based but switched to HTML5 format with the new layout we designed. Yes, it no longer looks like a print magazine page, but just as many users had previously complained that they wanted it to work on their smartphones (a massive market we simply were not previously addressing). Being PDF-based, the old app could not do this, but a fully-responsive HTML5 functionality permitted the creation of the smartphone version.

This first HTML5 version delivers most of the top-requested features that the old format App simply lacked, namely:

* Landscape or Portrait view
* Pinch-zoom on all images and all adverts (which contain lots of small font size material)
* Much improved Audio player

Importantly for SOS, being Article-based means we now have the ability to add bonus articles at any time and update any pages where errors have snuck through, all without requiring a full re-download and new version of the app by the user. You will see more of this being rolled out in the future.

There are still functions we wish dearly were available to users in the app, and we continue to lobby our app developer/host, but I guess they work to what the majority of their customer base prioritises.
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Forum Admin » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:08 pm

Here's a screenshot of the FAQ portion explaining how the Cloud icon button works when downloading the full issue in the App.

Cloud Icons explained.jpg

Click to enlarge.
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Wimek » Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:35 pm

Reading the above, I now understand the changes in the iPad app (I started a separate thread which is now unnecessary).

The thing I really don’t like is the mix of articles and advertisements in the contents overview! I miss the grouping like: In depth articles, reviews and regular returning articles...
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Forum Admin » Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:53 pm

Wimek wrote:The thing I really don’t like is the mix of articles and advertisements in the contents overview! I miss the grouping like: In depth articles, reviews and regular returning articles...

That's only v1.0, so to speak, of the new app (v13.1) so we'll of course consider your feedback and others for future updates.

Simple solution is to tap the 3-line bullet menu in the grey bar and that shows you the old-style contents list of only articles (not adverts). Scroll down to find stuff.
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Wimek » Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:27 pm

Forum Admin wrote:Simple solution is to tap the 3-line bullet menu in the grey bar and that shows you the old-style contents list of only articles (not adverts). Scroll down to find stuff.

Thanks!

However, I tried that but it seems that it only works inside articles... or am I doing something wrong?
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Forum Admin » Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:40 pm

Wimek wrote:
Forum Admin wrote:Simple solution is to tap the 3-line bullet menu in the grey bar and that shows you the old-style contents list of only articles (not adverts). Scroll down to find stuff.

Thanks!

However, I tried that but is seams that it only works inside articles... or am I doing something wrong?

Yes, it's not a function available on the "contents" collection library page - but that's why we added the front cover as its own article, so tap that and the menu appears (in the grey bar). Give that a go?
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Wimek » Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:09 pm

Yes, that works :clap:

I just didn’t look on the front page :headbang:
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby forumuser937135 » Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:34 pm

So the only option for me at the the time to get a replica magazine or pdf-version would be a double subscription (both an already paid for Apple store version + new direct subscription)? I understand the dev situation and where you're coming from, but it still stings. I'm happy to support you and have done so for the last 10 years, but I'm not too keen on giving extra money to Apple. If I however cancel my App Store sub, will I stille be able to keep previous issues I have paid for and read them?

(The new app also loads pages slowly, much slower than even last months version, to say nothing of pdf versions or an app like Magzter).
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Re: What has happened to the SOS iPad app?

Postby Bill S » Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:21 pm

The example PDF version isn’t great. You have to scroll down through every page, there are no hot links to articles from the contents page, and the ability to skip an article by swiping left is gone. In the new app it’s an error to have adverts listed as contents, hopefully that’ll change. Open an article in the new app and the strap line is shown THEEE times at the top of the page in various formats!

Coincidentally I got my renewal email today. I’d be happy to support SOS directly but the functionality is making me question whether to renew I’m afraid.
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