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Reuters Releases The Wider Image iPad App Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

24 February 2014

Visual story-telling is hot right now. We've recently reviewed Storehouse and noted the launch of Inspiring Photography. Now Reuters has released The Wider Image, a free iOS app similar to its Wider Image Web site to explore visual stories by its photojournalists. We downloaded a copy to give it a spin.

The company describes the app:

The Wider Images is an unprecedented multimedia experience from Reuters,. Explore the world with hundreds of captivating visual stories by award-winning photojournalists.

Get more content on every story -- interact with image sequences, read expanded facts and quotes, swipe between the before and after, hear words and sounds.

See what's happening in places you care about, with new stories added daily. Discover places you may never have known. Get to know the photographers behind the lens. Follow your favorites to see new work as it is added.

Get the wider story. Transform the way you see.

We're big fans of transforming the way we see, let alone getting wider stories. So we made room for the 10.8-MB app on an iPad.

LAYOUT | Back to Contents

After an animated splash screen (that goes on a bit too long for anyone interested in transforming the way they see; but it only appeared once), a fairly confusing display is presented. To wit:

Home Page. Menu items on the left, each story displayed in a panel. Swipe to see more on the right.

After a little study, you can make out a menu to the left with five items on it: Latest (which is the default display), Explore, Profiles, My View and Reuters.

  • Latest, the default view seen above, shows three panels in the middle of the screen, each leading to a story, with the main story above the other two. These are the only headlined stories. Other new stories are listed in a column on the right as panels. All the panels are images. You can only swipe the display to the left, revealing more story panels captioned with their location and a few with "Editor's Choice" on them.
  • Explore, shown below, displays a map (centered on your location if you give it permission) with a filmstrip of stories below it and a line drawn from the story to the map location. As you scroll the filmstrip, the lines are redrawn for the new stories, which is kind of fun.
  • Profiles gives you more information about the photojournalists featured in the app.
  • My View provides a place for you to indicate your favorites, who you are following and a history of your reading.
  • Reuters is the equivalent of an About page with links for Rating the app, Feedback, Privacy notice and more.

Explore. Stories below are linked to the map.

A STORY | Back to Contents

We tapped on What Would You Save First?, as story about flooding in England, which has been severe this winter. An opening image with an introduction was displayed.

A Story. Opening image with introduction and more information under Location and Photographer.

You can swipe directly to other stories or scroll up to see more images in the selected story.

The menu bar on the left added a Return icon, a Star icon to add the story to your Collections (or create a collection) and a Share icon to share the story via Facebook, Twitter or email.

To the left of the main display and just next to the menu bar is a list of thumbnails in the story. AS you read the story, scrolling up in the main display, the thumbnails scroll along with you. But not smoothly and often rolling you back a bit to center the thumbnail. That was a little disturbing.

Each story lists the Date, Location and Photographer. You can click on Location and Photographer for more information. Location doesn't display a map but a graph comparing the country in the story to your own country. That's a bit silly when the story location is in your own country.

Location. The country in which the story takes place compared to your country.

Most of the stories we looked at included a slideshow. But the slideshow itself runs too quickly to read the captions and view the images. And there doesn't appear any way to extend the slide duration, which is about three seconds each.

But you can just swipe from one image to another manually or use the filmstrip view to click on each image's thumbnail, which also lets you view them out of sequence.

There are more than slideshows available, though. Depending on the story, you may have a before/after divider or a image sequence to swipe through or a panorama. Stories may also include some audio of ambient sounds and interviews.

WIDER | Back to Contents

While you can make the images full screen with a double tap, they can't be enlarged further. But you can swipe through to other images.

The sparse text accompanying each story really leaves you begging for more. You're reading the photographer's account and the photographer would obviously prefer you look at the pictures.

Just as interesting as the account, though, is the Photographer link in each story, which takes you to the photographer's profile. That profile includes where the photographer was born, where they are based and what gear they use but it's also a chance to learn a bit more about them, what they cover, how they approach their assignments and more.

Profile. There's quite a bit more as you scroll down.

You can also "favorite" a photographer to keep up with their new work in the app. And you can add a story to your collection stories, too.

That is indeed a different view of the images produced by Reuters photographers.

CONCLUSION | Back to Contents

The app is a little more fun and personal than the Web site, but both provide a deeper appreciation of photojournalism. And that's worth a four photo corner rating here.

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