Unusable. 3x3 photo layout is poor. Font size too small. No customization. 1/5
One version of this app is broken. It shows no headlines, articles, or opinion columns, but still shows ads! No version number is given under settings.
The other version on my iPad (5.3.15) ridiculously shows a 3x3 grid of photos with bold cut-off headlines, which is hard to process and renders the app unusable. There is no way of changing the layout or font size. There are no global settings options. The left-hand drop down menu is a long one, but only shows a few entries at a time in a large, cartoonish font! Hard to scroll through!
This new version also deletes ALL of your previously saved stories and articles! That's horrible design. The developers have violated the Hippocratic Software Oath, “First, do no harm!” Please give us an option to use the old interface and transfer our saved stories.
Even worse, this new version litters stories with ads; plus, it puts a bunch of ads at the bottom of each article or column, many with grotesque images. Yech!
At this point, I cannot see subscribing or contributing to Slate!
Note: Oddly, the old version of the app still works fine on the iPod Touch and iPhone SE. But I won't be upgrading as it could destroy what is working well!
Here's my earlier review.
Slate provides wonderful articles and columns -- a progressive Atlantic or New Yorker. The info, topics, and writers are good. The app, though, needs major work. It also behaves quite differently on the iPad vs. the iPod Touch and iPhone.
The 5.3.15 one, which seems to be the latest, has fixed several problems ON THE IPAD, although it has introduced others: There are NO options or settings in the pull-down menu; oddly, its general font size controls are INSIDE of EACH story; and, unfortunately, it displays headlines in a large 3 x 3 block grid of photos + BOLDED words (w/o any article text) rather than the far more inviting scrolling list of smaller photos with headlines and first sentence or brief blurb on each article or column. PLEASE GIVE USERS THE OPTION TO DISPLAY A SCROLLING LIST OF HEADLINES, JUST THE WAY IT WORKS ON THE IPHONES.
On the iPod Touch 6 and iPhone SE, version 5.3.15 is an absolute mess.
The text for comments still remains far too small and the section interface remains poor, with the same problems that occur on the smaller i-devices!
Here are the details.
FONT PROBLEM ON IPHONES AND IPOD TOUCHES
Even at the largest setting, the font size for stories is far too small to read comfortably. Users should NOT have to hold their devices right up to their eyeballs to read the stories! I have many other news apps and they all permit *much larger* font sizes.
Please fix this! It should be adjustable to LARGE sizes on the iPhone and iPod Touch as it is on the iPad as users need or prefer. You have great material at Slate, and excellent columnists and news analysts, but the small font size is a HUGE barrier to reading such great content! It’s way past time that you provide users with bigger font size options.
There are other font glitches, too. The spacing of text is often wrong on the iPhone, e.g., in lists of movie titles, they all run together!
You still haven’t restored the slider-tab interface or g users with the ability to customize sections.
* The tabbed section slider interface worked better. A year or two ago, you switched to a left-hand drop down menu, but it’s clumsy. The tabbed interface worked faster, looked cleaner, and made sections more accessible. So, please give users an option to restore that.
* There is still NO customization of the drop down section list. It’s a long list, so it means scrolling to get to the section that one wants to read. We should be able to reorder the list and park our favorite columns or writers there. We always liked reading Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy, but he was hard to find — and now, alas, lost for good as he went elsewhere.
* The stories in the 2 main sections, Recent and Popular, still overlap far too much! So much so, they are almost indistinguishable! Better culling is needed.
Another big problem is that the text in comments is too tiny to read easily! That's true on the iPad as well as the iPhones and iPod Touches. Plus, you provide no way of making it bigger!
Navigation remains obscure on the smaller i-devices. The back arrow for returning to the headline list is hidden. There is a ghostly, barely visible banner at the top, and the back arrow is typically obscured. It should appear as it does on the iPad, a distinct, visible, white left arrow.
AESTHETICS AND DISTRACTIONS
The background photos and Big Ss behind each of the headlines on the iPhone and IPT interferes with the text and often make them hard to read! It also looks poor aesthetically. The Ss jump around when scrolling, so they are distracting to boot. They are completely unnecessary!
Slate+ is an enhanced version of the offerings, but the FAQ doesn't explain what it is! Its stories often aren’t flagged clearly, either.
In any case, please give us an option for a scrolling headline display on the iPad and fix the font size and section issues — as well as the other problems. Make sure that new version don't delete saved stories. Make sure that the app lives up to the quality of the magazine and site itself!
search is hidden and horrible 2/5
As a Slate Plus subscriber I have to say the app’s search function undermines any positives the app has. First they hide it. Perhaps they’re hiding their shame. Second when you try and use it, the second you start typingWhat you’re typing disappears and it starts guessing what do you mean based upon your hidden characters. Third it doesn’t work particularly well. Fourth once you’re done searching the hamburger is gone so you can’t go anywhere but to one of the (crappy) search results without closing the app entirely and reopening it. The only conclusion I can come to is that they don’t want you to search. You’re better off not using the app at all and instead using the Google app.
There Is No Podcast Section. 1/5
Advice in version history and elsewhere is wrong.
Come ON 1/5
As a Slate Plus subscriber, I expect, bare minimum, that links to Slate Plus content should open in the app, where I am logged in.
As a person in the world who uses technology, I expect indexing to work on the app. There are frequently things missing from the main page, and it’s not always updated - it can go stale for almost a full day even when things are available on the website.
God Content, Lots of Bugs 1/5
A few major issues with Slate Plus that have been so inconveniencing that I’ve contemplating ending my subscription.
1. The Apple Slate Plus App keeps posting versions of podcasts with ads for random stuff, as well as slate ads. I paid for no ads!
2. The episode will play, get to the Slate Plus section, and then suddenly cut of, sayin “This was a preview of Slate Plus.” So where do I get the content I paid for?
3. Podcasts get posted late on the Slate Plus app. Why is it that I can find Slate content everywhere else first?
4. The app itself won’t always register as playing, or can’t kick other audio apps off when it starts, as a result there are no out of app controls.
It’s slowly getting better, but this is unacceptable.
Not useful 2/5
What’s the point of having an app for Slate when Slate links—even within the Slate app itself—do not open in the Slate app? If I’m logged in to Slate Plus in the app, and I see a podcast that I want to subscribe to, I should not have to log in again, then scroll around in several places in order to find my podcast link. Slate seems to want us to listen to podcasts within the app, but that just isn’t how I prefer to listen. Two stars instead of one because it is a better reading experience in the app than in my phone browser, if I can find the article I want to read.
Why is the app so consistently bad? 1/5
Why is the Slate app so consistently bad? I enjoy the content when I can get to it. It crashes constantly. The videos don’t play. The links don’t work. When links refer to another Slate article, the link doesn’t just open the article in the app, but instead opens this sort of browser window within the app. It’s strange. Update after update I hope these issues will be fixed and they never are.
Paid for app and now can’t access content 1/5
I paid for Slate Plus to listen to podcasts. After successfully logging into slate app, it won’t allow me to listen to podcasts. In FAQ it advises to use login information on Apple podcasts or stitcher. Just tried that and it won’t recognize my login even though the slate site does. I guess that’s $50 down the drain.
app freezes and shuts down 3/5
Content is fine but about every 3-5 minutes ( on a bad day- sometimes it doesn’t happen but usually does), the app will either freeze (can’t scroll at all) or just quit/blank.
nightmare app 1/5
I paid for a subscription so that I could access more content from my favorite shows—some of which are not new. there does not appear to have a search function, nor a menu of podcasts. the daily feed slate app is a nightmare of information overload with no way to personally tailor to my interests. as a previous user said, when you entice your listeners with extra features and then the features are missing or impossible to access, you end up alienating your biggest fans.
This is the most user unfriendly app ever 1/5
This is the most user unfriendly app ever. First, I got slateplus to listen to Trumpcast, they make it impossible to find Trumpcast. Most of the time I can’t find what I want to listen to. Next the search engine does not work, it can’t find simple things like titles or show/ column name. Unless it’s a slateplus only content I listen on iPhone podcast app, that app it works! The slate app is very frustrating.
Constructive feedback for slate plus and app designers 4/5
By Hilary prentice
Wish you could download the podcasts avail through the subscription...also wish the interface was cleaner, easier to search the content, more visually simple.
Content good, app bad 1/5
By Privacy nerd
The app closes after being open for 5 minutes or less. Have tried rebooting the phone and restarting the app, even deleting the app and reinstalling it. Still fails.
Like the content, hate the app 2/5
Amazingly incompetent app, that gets all the little things wrong. E.g., embedded video in articles never works, so you can read a whole article about some Twitter memo or YouTube video, and not be able to view it without exiting the app and finding it on your own.
Heats up my phone 1/5
This app has recently been heating my phone to an alarming degree and is crashing constantly. I uninstalled :(
Good content, not so good app 3/5
The app frequently crashes. I tried reinstalling...no luck. I was considering Slate Plus, but not right now.
Love Slate but hate the app 1/5
I love the content, but this is the only app on my IPhone that crashes on a regular basis.
The App Keeps Getting Worse 1/5
The app used to be better. Ad-free podcasts used to not play ads. And it didn’t used to crash as often as it does now. I’m at the point where I might stop being a Slate Plus member because of how bad the app is. I really like Slate content, but they are making it difficult to easily access it so what’s the point?
Tech issues w subscription 2/5
By pirate jenny
I subscribed so I could enjoy more episodes - the content is fabulous. But I lost access to that extra content after maybe a month, for no reason I can follow. I tried everything they recommend - tried using a range of listening platforms to no avail. Spent about 40$ to listen to about an hour and then lost that time and more to trouble shooting.
App completely broken as of 3/28/19. What happened? Running iOS 12.2.
Slate plus is a must 5/5
I’m a slate plus member for three years. It’s really great for the podcast feed. It’s also a great feeling to support such great journalism.
Too hard to use 1/5
I respect the need to monetize the tremendous work that goes into your podcasts, but getting the content I want and have been promised as a plus subscriber is unnecessarily difficult. It’s just not worth the headache.
Slate+ doesn’t get you much for $35 2/5
My second observation is that the landing page is really a drag: no search function, no buttons to assist in navigation to important features.
Content OK, I am a big supporter of Political Gabfest and David asked me to join + so I did.
Slate Plus Earns the Trash Bin 1/5
Slate/Slate Plus is a click-bait site full of childish paragraphs of easily forgettable superficial Instagram quotes. Forget Slate Plus, a juvenile online publication that is far worse than huff post. College students write a lot of essays. A lot of essays are written by an algorithm. Very little is original. Many Slate Plus subscribers complain about being able to read only Ms Prudence - a silly gossip column probably written by first year education majors at a teachers’ college.
Close but no cigar 4/5
Having paid for slate plus to go commercial free, I get one podcast without obvious commercials and other podcasts with the very commercials that I sought to avoid. Slate provides excellent content and an excellent, informed group of podcasters. I suppose that I could use my time to resolve the commercials issue; but I have to work to afford the subscription.
Auto-Play Video Ads?? 1/5
Hey, been a loyal reader for years and years. This last update now has AUTO PLAY video ads? That you can’t exit out of? Even when they’re done? Fix this. You’ve literally published articles about this very subject. Please.
This is NOT an Improvement 1/5
The new structure is horrible. I can’t find my favorite Slate Podcasts. All it shows is “sections”
Where have the podcasts gone? 1/5
I am a Slate Plus member and have always enjoyed podcasts and listening to the extra for slate plus only follow up. I used the podcast category to search for shows. This feature has disappeared. I can now only access older shows through apple iTunes where I cannot get my slate plus segment. When you offer perks to Members and then take the perks away, you end up annoying your strongest customers.
To be informed 5/5
Liking the breadth and depth of writing, especially the legal analysis.
One star for one very annoying non-feature 1/5
Can’t read the articles in landscape mode. It’s 2019. Give us this feature.
Read it online 3/5
Slate is great. This app is not. It freezes and crashes constantly, and updates much slower than the website. Read it in your browser.
Causes phone to get hot, missing link 2/5
Reading some article causes phone to heat up hot as if some process was running the hard drive past optimal. I shut off all apps then updated this app, and tried again, with only this app open, same problem.
Slate news quiz links don’t show up on app for iPhone.
All the news that doesn’t see print 5/5
By Mason Jarr
You can count on slate for unusual topics or unusual focus on the unusual topics. The app has never crashed has a simple transparent interface and downloads quickly wherever you are.
Many podcasts to enjoy 5/5
Mike Pesca is great. I also love Trumpcast and Political Gabfest is also great. I love all of the shows.
Slate plus ? 3/5
I subscribe to Slate plus, and the only thing in my Slate plus feed seems to be an advice column. I don’t care about advice, where are my premium podcasts? I use the iPhone X. I subscribed to sleep plus soley for Virginia Heffernan and Trumpcast. I cannot find it in Slate plus.
Slow Burn 5/5
This multi-part series is far better than most titles you’ll find on Netflix. The bonus pieces are a great ROI.
Beware - extremely hard to unsubscribe 1/5
By Reina Divina
I appreciate the talent on Slate so the low review is because I really dislike their app and the fact that their instructions to cancel don’t work. It should not be hard to unsubscribe but it is. Hellish app. Stick w the free version! Their app has been horrible all year and they simply don’t improve it.
Snarly, snarky, sarcastic, socialist stories 1/5
The days of unbiased journalism are long dead but Slate takes bias to a new level.
Easy to use but slow 3/5
Good access to articles and easy to read, but why so slow to change pages from one article to another by swiping? There’s really no excuse on a 2018 iPad.
A bit too far to the left 3/5
Overall an interesting site but it’s obsessive harping on Israel while ignoring far worse behavior by other countries is disconcerting.
The comments section is particularly susceptible to anti-Semitic drivel.
Not Happy 2/5
Commenting still not working. I tried submitting a comment and I received an error message. This was after enduring a so-called Christmas Music Trivia podcast that turned out to be a discussion of Britney Spears. That was my last attempt to listen to that podcast. Also, I’m an avid user of the Slate podcasts and wish the app would let me set a preference to opening into podcasts instead of written pieces.
The article in Sully did it for me. Deleting Slate from my news feed. 1/5
I get that some media sites and reporters don’t like Republicans. I’m not a huge fan of the party myself these days. But to denigrate President George H. W. Bush’s Service Dog “Sully” on 12/3/18 was a step too far. I want deep & complete reporting on facts and encouragement to make up my own mind on the issues of the day. This mean, spiteful article has caused me to reevaluate the “news” I get from Slate, a site that I used to appreciate for its even-handed approach. Now I’m re-thinking my support.
This was an unforced error that demonstrates a lack of leadership in Slate’s editorial team.
I’m deleting the app & removing Slate from my news feed. I’m a pretty smart person, and appreciate all sides of the stories of the day. Whatever decent & reasonable reporting that Slate wanted to get across to me, or it’s other readers will heretofore not make it into this Independent’s eager consciousness.
Time to clean it up, Slate. You used to be more fair & decent.
Stupid content 1/5
Attack the service dog. I am deleting the site.
Cumbersome app search and navigation 2/5
I love Slate and Slate plus but I have a heckuva time trying to find what I want In this app. Even though I type in the exact name of the show In the search bar (which is a bit hard to find to begin with), it often doesn’t show up. And then I have to close the app completely to clear the inaccurate search results and get out of the search mode.
Maybe I’m a klutz or a dummy, but I just don’t feel like this app is very intuitive or responsive to the needs of normal user.
Using this app to listen to Slateplus podcasts is not a very good user experience. There is no indication that a podcast is downloading. And I could not figure out how to use this premium service on the Overcast app.
By Drewing pictures
Good source for news
5.3.11 drains my battery! 2/5
Latest update absolutely kills my battery life. I lost 50% in an hour. Only happens when using Slate app. Didn’t notice any functional differences with this update - app still does/doesn’t work as it has before. You still won’t see all the articles under the “recent” menu option.
No opportunity for feedback 5/5
By Jonathan Oz
Lack of ability to comment on articles brings the score way down!
problems with Slate+ 3/5
Not sure if it’s a problem with the app or membership, but I had to log repeatedly to get access to podcasts as a Slate+ member, and it often didn’t work. I haven’t even been able to get in for the last few months, so I’m going to let my membership expire since I have to listen to ads anyhow.