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January 24, 2012

iPad App Review – The Early Edition 2 (Glasshouse Apps) £2.99

by Colin Jones

The Early Edition was initially released to coincide with the arrival of the original iPad – At the time it was groundbreaking and showed off just what Apple’s new tablet was capable of.

The app aggregated all of your news sources and delivered them to you in the form of a stylish digital newspaper – It instantly became a hit and was one of the top sellers in the App Store for months – However the app increasingly started to look dated when compared with Flipboard and Reeder, especially as it lacked the ability to sync fully with your Google News Reader.

Step forward The Early Edition 2, rebuilt from the ground over 12 months in order to compete with modern popular news readers like Zite. The app is not an upgrade, so even if you have the first Early Edition, you will need to purchase this one separately, if you want to try it out.

So what has changed?

Well now there is the choice to either sync it with your Google Reader account or as with the first edition, use it as a standalone app to read your various news sources. Set up is straightforward and once done, the app will present your news in a beautiful newspaper style format. A major change in the new app is the implementation of gestures, most are easy to master and you can learn about them in the settings menu.

Page turning in TEE 2 is a wonderful experience, as the turns now follow your finger and look very realistic.

A nice new feature is Clippings – Favourite stories as you browse and they will be sent to what is know as the shoebox, a lovely virtual box that mimics a physical inbox tray. Clippings are reached by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

All of the usual sharing options are here and how TEE 2 handles sharing is my favourite feature in the app. Choose to share an article and a stylish envelope pops up, choose your sharing source and watch as the envelope is stylishly filled in with the title of the story you are sharing.

The Early Edition 2 whilst being lovely to look at and use, just seems to lack the functionality of other news reader apps such as the ever popular Reeder and my own personal favourite Mr Reader. If you are already using one of these, TEE 2 certainly won’t replace it as your main news source – However you may enjoy using it a couple of times a week, perhaps when you want a more aesthetically pleasing reading experience, whether this is worth the £2.99 asking price is debatable.

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