The Plainer Truth … the Plain Dealer revisited

I hadn’t planned to write on this topic again.  Yesterday, I shared what I liked and [mostly] didn’t like about the new, digitally delivered Cleveland Plain Dealer.  I had thought I’d said my piece and it was time to move on.  That was before I used my iPad to read the paper.

Knowing that it was Wednesday and a beautiful, printed, paper edition was waiting on my front porch, I grabbed my iPad and checked email.  Sure enough, I had a link from the Plain Dealer.  I clicked on a random headline.

The link opened Safari and took me to a page on the Plain Dealer news site.  A greeting awaited – “Welcome!  Please install the iOS app to view the e-Edition on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch device.”  After the greeting, I had the option to click one of three buttons:  Download/Open the app, View on Web, or View Mobile format.

As an obedient subscriber, I had previously downloaded and installed the Plain Dealer apps, so I clicked on the first button.  This did not open the app as advertised.  Instead, it took me to Apple’s App Store, specifically to the Plain Dealer’s app page.

At first I thought, maybe, just maybe, I had not previously installed the app.  Maybe I had dreamed it or make a mistake and forgotten to install this one.  After all, between phone and iPad, the Plain Dealer directed me to download nine apps in all.  It was entirely possible that I’d missed one.

Then I noticed that the only button showing was the OPEN button.  I had no option to install.  My memories were accurate.  I had installed the app.

Now, this is just plain wonky.  I’ve installed dozens of apps on my iPad.  An installed app should open when opened, not take you to the App Store.  Then these strange proceedings took an even stranger turn.  I clicked on the open button and my iPad brought me to a screen labeled “The Plain Dealer, e-edition.”  The left side listed headlines, the right navigational aids.   I clicked on a headline from the list on the left.  Instead of opening the electronic edition of the newspaper, Safari opened on  As described in yesterday’s post, these two are not the same.

I tried to recreate my experience.  I went back to the email from the Plain Dealer and clicked on the headline link.  Once again, I was given the choice to download/open the app.  I clicked that button.  Once again, I was brought to the App Store.  This time, instead of landing on the App Store page for the Plain Dealer app, I was brought to the App Store’s new and noteworthy featured app page.  Ads for many apps scrolled by, none of them the Plain Dealer.

I thought maybe I hit a glitch.  So I tried again, three more times in fact.  Each time with the same result.  The new and noteworthy page on the App Store.  So, apparently the morning email only works once.  After that you’re out of luck.

Come on, PD. You can do better than this!

I really hope this time is the last time I write on this topic, but after this morning’s experience, no promises.

Till the next post, chris

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