The new Celtic news now app and website launched earlier this month. So far I’ve received lots of great feedback – and constructive criticism – that we’re using to improve the service.
One of the criticisms I see is about annoying adverts and popups, which seem to appear incessantly on some stories. I’ve replied individually to everyone who’s pointed this out, but it’s clearly a problem that a lot of users are experiencing, so I wanted to let you know what we’re doing about it.
First of all, I want to emphasise that the annoying adverts you’re seeing belong to some of the sites that we link to – there are no popups in the app itself.
It’s frustrating to have spent all this time building the app and website, to then see it criticised for problems that are not of our making (although we’ve made plenty of mistakes on our own, that’s for sure).
So what are we doing about it?
Let me take a minute to explain… Back when Celtic news now v1 was out, all the links to stories opened in the default web browser on your phone or tablet. We thought it would be really nice if you could open stories directly in the app, so we added a simple in-app browser that did just that.
But we left at least one important feature out.
Little did I know, but your standard iOS/Android browser has a really useful mode called “Reader View”. When enabled, it allows you to read blog posts unhindered by annoying adverts and popups. You can even change the text size, which is great if you need glasses to read smaller type.
Without Reader View, our in-app browser is at times plagued by popups and autoplaying videos when you’re reading stories from particular sources (The Scotsman is one of the worst for it).
So we’re building a Reader View of our own for a forthcoming app update. Yay.
In the meantime, there’s another way for you to avoid annoying adverts, and that is to stop reading news from sources that bombard you with popups every time you visit.
The new app makes it easy to block news from any source (this seems to be quite a popular feature when it comes to some of the SMSM), so you can browse your personalised newsfeed, free of ads. If you haven’t already, please tap the icon top right of your screen to start customising your own account.
What else are we working on?
Besides the Reader View, we’re working on a few bugs. We didn’t realise it, but the recent update doesn’t work on iOS 9.3.5 on some older iPads. Sorry about that! We’re going to try and fix this in a forthcoming update, but in the meantime, please continue to use the website in your Safari web browser.
Anyways, I hope you like the new app and website. Please send your feedback and bug reports to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll do my best to help!