FlatironHot! App Review: Guru Magazine
This week FlatironHot! took some time to test the Guru Magazine app. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to try it out within an iOS environment, but it worked beautifully on a Nexus 7 device, and left us quite impressed.
On their Google Play page, Guru proclaims itself the first science-lifestyle magazine to be published exclusively on the internet. As avid readers of the Engadget Distro for the past two years, we were skeptical of this claim, but decided to download it nonetheless. After all, it was free. Fortunately, Guru Magazine’s app exceeded our expectations, providing a clean, intuitive interface that other publications would do well to emulate. Make no mistake, though; this is not a “Flipboard” kind of app–that is, it is not intended to function as an aggregator. Rather, it is simply a digital platform for Guru‘s content, emulating the approach of other online-only publications such as Engadget Distro’s, which serves as a useful point of reference for assessing the quality of the former’s new reader app.
To begin with, the interface is clean and simple, drawing the user in with a black, white and red interface with four blocky tabs at the bottom. The application opens in a default tab called “Guru Store,” where the user can browse through editions of Guru Magazine, beginning with the current issue and moving backward through the publication’s expansive back catalog. Beneath each issue is a tab that reads “Download”. If selected, the edition will download and move to a section called the “Guru Library” that the user can access by clicking the left-most tab at the bottom. The other two tabs are “Guru News” and the “About tab,” both of which provide additional information for those interested in delving deeper into all the publication has to offer.
Like Engadget Distro, the Guru Magazine app runs on an interface where the user can access issues through a marketplace and download, view, archive, or delete them as they see fit. In comparison, we actually prefer Guru Magazine’s interface, as it provides brief synopses of the contents of each issue to help the user make an informed decision on what to download.
Within the magazines themselves, there are other little goodies that encourage interactivity while perusing content. There are tap-able sections within the articles that will interlink within the magazine or link to an outside source. This makes for an enjoyable, interactive, and rich viewing experience. When all is said and done, the user puts the content on a stage and the UI becomes unnoticeable, which is exactly how it should be. Everything works perfectly, at least on our Nexus 7. It was simple, easy to use, and an enjoyable experience.