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QST mobile reader which does not suck?

Jul 29th 2016, 07:39

piranha32

Joined: Jan 23rd 2015, 03:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Hello,

I saw today news from ARRL about new version of QST reader for Android. I tried to use the mobile reader in the past, but gave up after paging through one issue. The application was slow, cumbersome, the text was barely readable on a small screen of my phone. When I saw the announcement of the new, improved version I was very anxious to try it. And I ended up paging through one issue. The application is a bit faster, and the same pain to use as the old one.

There is one fundamental problem that ARRL does not seem to understand: Reading a publication on a mobile device is a completely different experience than reading the same publication printed on a paper. Because of small screen size it is impossible to just show an image of a page full of information and expect that everything will be perfectly readable. My sight is still good and I can read the tiny letters when the device stays still, but with a bit of movement during mobile use it becomes impossible to follow the text.
Web page designers got it very quickly and most of good websites have mobile versions optimized for viewing on small screens. Other publishers also got it and have mobile versions of their journals optimized for reading on small screens. Makers of mobile PDF reades got it and allow to view reformatted text. ARRL does not seem to understand it and serves pictures with images of printed pages with fixed layout unsuitable for mobile use. Zooming in does not solve the problem. Not only it is slow, but completely breaks navigation and page remains overloaded. The new Android reader app remains usability nightmare.

The online reader shares many issues of the mobile application. Although the screen is bigger and navigation is easier, the app has big problems to render fonts properly. Come on guys. It's 2016, flash is on a deathbed, pretty soon no respectable browser will support it. For over 10 years I have not seen an electronic journal reader which shows jagged letters. Instead of adding animation and swooshing sound of turned pages or showing center shadow (which have to be turned off each time a new issue appears), maybe you should think about creating a reader which is convenient to use? Or at least provide a PDF version of the journal. This is probably the easiest, cheapest, and quickest way of addressing at least some of the usability problems.

Regards,
Jacek.
Jul 29th 2016, 12:09

WB1GCM

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Thank you for your feedback, Jacek. I will pass this thread on to our publishers.

Bob Allison
WB1GCM
ARRL Laboratory
Jul 29th 2016, 14:51

WB1GCM

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Feedback forwarded....they are working on it!
Jul 29th 2016, 17:45

piranha32

Joined: Jan 23rd 2015, 03:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Thank you.
Dec 10th 2016, 17:54

piranha32

Joined: Jan 23rd 2015, 03:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I saw today an announcement that since January issue QST will use new, HTML5-based reader. I'd like to say a big "Thank you" for listening to readers' complaints, and I can't wait to see it in action.
Dec 16th 2016, 17:39

WA6NDR

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I likewise have been frustrated with QST Digital Edition since it was released, for the well-documented reasons the original poster described. Its current Google Play rating of 2.6 is well deserved. I just tried to update to the latest version and see it now requires additional Android permissions for "In-app purchases, Identity, Location, Device ID & call information". For a magazine reader?!
Dec 17th 2016, 20:03

K0BHJ

Joined: Sep 26th 2016, 14:59
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
One minor gripe with the new reader- the login box says "email address", but I couldn't log in, even made sure I was using the right password by changing it on the web site.
Worked fine when I entered my "username" instead.
Dec 19th 2016, 04:25

piranha32

Joined: Jan 23rd 2015, 03:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Ok, I checked the new reader. And I'm banging my head on the table since then. The only positive side of the change is that the awful flash is gone. Otherwise, most of the problems that I mentioned in my original post remain, with serving images of full pages in the first place. Actually, the flash reader was even better, because now the controls allowing to turn off those annoying page flipping effects are nowhere to be found.

ARRL, do you even care to listen what paying members have to say about your QST?
Dec 19th 2016, 19:40

piranha32

Joined: Jan 23rd 2015, 03:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Quote by WA6NDR
I likewise have been frustrated with QST Digital Edition since it was released, for the well-documented reasons the original poster described. Its current Google Play rating of 2.6 is well deserved. I just tried to update to the latest version and see it now requires additional Android permissions for "In-app purchases, Identity, Location, Device ID & call information". For a magazine reader?!


I second that. Making phone calls? Access contacts? That's supposed to be a magazine reader, not a spy app.
Dec 20th 2016, 14:17

AB3FN

Joined: Jun 5th 2007, 14:11
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I had no problems in the past viewing QST on my iMac, but the new PageSuite implementation is impossible to read. The resolution is bad - everything is fuzzy regardless of the magnification / zoom. When zooming, for just a second or so everything seems to be in focus, but then the image deteriorates again. I emailed the circulation group, but wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Any suggestions from others who use an iMac ? Thanks.

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