As the UK’s biggest selling newspaper and the home of more gossip and scandal than you can shake a stick at, The Sun’s arrival on Android is somewhat predictable. What’s surprising however, is its use of advertisements in a paid app, weak compatibility across the Android ecosystem and reliance on a subscription model.
The Sun for Android download is essentially a more accessible version of its garish website minus the topless Page 3 models. Lusty teenage smartphone owners might be perturbed but the absence of voluminous cleavage pouring out of every article is a definite plus in our opinion.
Another plus for News Group’s tabloid foray into the smartphone arena is its user friendly navigation system with a drop down menu used to select categories of news and photos, bookmarking facilities for stories you want to read later and one-touch photo gallery acessibilty.
That said, The Sun for Android is not without its considerable flaws. It’s only compatible with limited versions of Google’s smartphone OS, 2.1 to 2.3.7 to be precise. This means we couldn’t download it through our Ice Cream Sandwich handset or our Honeycomb tablet, a bizarre move which will surely hamper its chances of popular adoption on the Android Market.
Also, despite costing 69p to download, The Sun for Android includes both banner adverts and a further subscription model of £4.99 per month once your first month’s ‘trial period’ is over. While we don’t mind The Sun’s subscription model, smartphone users will decide whether the fee is worth it, adding in advertising on top of this strikes us a bit rich. Judging by user reviews of the app, this attempt by The Sun to have it’s cake and eat it hasn’t gone down especially well.
If you own a compatible smartphone and like to keep up-to-date with the latest scurrilous smut, then The Sun for Android is a passable download but remains a long way off the pace of its news app competitors.
The Bottom Line
Defies logic with a subscription model and advertisements included
Version reviewed 1.0
Requires Android 2.1 to 2.3.7