Harvard Business Review Today provides a variety of content from HBR’s renowned digital and print media. The home screen reveals the twenty-five most recent blog articles, along with four three other menu bar items: audio, video and extra. All sections can be refreshed with a Twitter app-style pull down feature. A progress bar then informs you of what’s happening.
The blog articles are presented cleanly, against a white backdrop, and focus entirely on the content that it provides. The majority of articles are hyperlink-heavy, frequently referring to a number of other sources or quotes. A clean in-built browser means that these links are clickable without leaving the application, and there’s an option to view articles in Safari. Tapping the screen twice will remove the top menu bar, allowing more room for the content to be the centre of attention. The removable menu bar provides buttons to go back, go to the next or previous article, send to Twitter / Facebook / e-mail and to view the article in its original web format in HBR’s built-in browser.
The audio and video sections are relatively similar, the only difference being both of these sections offer the fifty most recent articles, rather than twenty-five. Both the audio and video content are relatively quick to load. The video quality is commendable. The extra section provides a number of book excerpts and magazine articles.
Where HBR falls is in its poor integration. There is no search; you can’t cut, copy and paste unless you view an article in the in-built browser; and tapping the status bar will not bring you to the top of the screen like it does in most other applications. In addition, the constant “give us your feedback” bar takes up precious space on the iPhone’s 3.5″ screen – reducing the area you have for reading articles without scrolling. The lack of certain features almost forces you to visit the web version – which is free. Once these problems are cleared up, the application will become much better value.
It is the extras that make it worth $2.99 – book excerpts and magazine extracts. If you’re just looking for HBR text, audio and video, viewing it in Safari is the wiser option.
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