By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Update: Reading the Globe in ‘print’ on tablet or phone

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 8.12.26 AMLet me begin with an obvious and unoriginal joke: If you want the print edition of the Boston Globe delivered to your home, then you really ought to move to Florida, where you can now subscribe in four regions. If you live in Greater Boston—well, from what I hear, the worst days of the delivery fiasco are over, but problems persist. I got an earful from a colleague just the other day. (As I’ve said before, our Sunday-only subscriptions to the Globe and the New York Times have never been affected here in West Medford, the capital of Media Nation.)

This morning, though, I’m here to share more-useful information. Recently the Globe switched to a new tablet app which, like the one it replaced, is based on a facsimile of the print edition. It seemed to work well on the first day, but after that I found it to be buggy and plagued by slow download speeds.

Several times recently I tried something different on my iPad: clicking on “Check out the ePaper format,” a link you can find near the upper-right-hand corner of the “Today’s Paper” view at It works far better than the app and proved to be a fast, bug-free way of paging through the Globe. I prefer the pure website experience most of the time. But occasionally I want to see what the print product looks like, and this is a good way to do it.

Weirdly, the iPhone app is more or less the same as the buggy iPad app, yet it downloads quickly and works well. (It’s possible that it’s because my iPhone is new and my iPad is old, so your mileage may vary.) The print metaphor is challenging on a small screen, but it’s not as bad as you might think, since you can click on a story and get a highly readable version. And since the entire paper downloads to your phone, you’re not slowed down by a glitchy Internet connection on the subway.

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1 Comment

  1. David Cable-Murphy

    Hi Dan,
    I remember writing to you several years ago, back before reading the paper on-line was a real possibility, about problems I was having with the Globe’s billing department. I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say it was a disheartening and on-going problem. Now we have the home delivery fiasco which, in our case, somehow manifested itself in a nearly perfect record of Sunday deliveries but a maddening inability to get even a single Saturday edition on our doorstep for several weeks. My wife called weekly to ensure we were not billed, but we finally got to the point where we just canceled the Saturday paper. We have gone from a decades-long seven day a week delivery to a weekend-only subscription (because the weekday papers NEVER were delivered by the time they were supposed to have been), to Sunday-only and on-line status. While this is a minor inconvenience for us, the real issue is that the Globe is costing itself money through its inability to perform the seemingly simple task of getting the damn paper onto our porch.
    I just can’t understand how it has come to this!

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