my office BlackBerry, which I had only become reasonably comfortable using over the past few months, recently decided to stop downloading e-mail. I could still send e-mail and use the device as a phone. I could even access the Internet with it. But it wouldn’t accept e-mail.
So I needed a new phone, and I had to decide what kind of a phone to get. Now, I hate to admit this, but I have reached the age where I find new technology somewhat intimidating. A couple of weeks ago, I listened to C&EN Associate Editor Carmen Drahl, who has never met a technology she didn’t embrace with gusto, talk about her iPhone as not just a smartphone but a “complete reporter’s toolbox,” which can be used as a camera, video camera, and tape recorder.
I was daunted. But I also knew that, as the editor-in-chief of this magazine, I needed to at least grasp how my staff are using technology to do their jobs. And, as important, how C&EN’s readers are accessing the magazine. So now I have an iPhone 4. In a text, one of my sons asked me, “So, how does it feel to have a tiny computer in your pocket?”
Which brings me to the subject of this Editor’s Page. With this week’s issue, we proudly introduce C&EN Mobile, which is designed to bring C&EN’s rich content to your mobile device—iPhone, iPad, or Android phone—formatted to optimize its readability on that device.
The C&EN Mobile app is available for free from Apple’s App Store or the Android Market. Download it and you have automatic access to all C&EN Online Latest News stories, the 10 blogs on the CENtral Science blog network, and ACS Careers job postings. That’s a lot of content you can access on your phone for free. We post one or more—often as many as six—Latest News stories every day of the workweek to keep you up-to-date on breaking developments in the chemistry enterprise, from business news, to basic and applied research, to important policy developments, to news about ACS.
And the CENtral Science network is a rich collection of blogs from C&EN editors and guest contributors as varied as The Safety Zone, in which Associate Editor Jyllian Kemsley explores important issues of lab safety, and The Haystack, in which Senior Editor Lisa Jarvis and Drahl focus on drug discovery. You can get a chuckle from the Newscripts blog maintained by Senior Editor Bethany Halford and Associate Editor Lauren Wolf. Or check out what some of our outside bloggers—Terra Sigillata’s David Kroll, Just Another Electron Pusher’s Christine Herman and Glen Ernst, and Transition States’ chiraljones and Sidechain Bob—are up to.
All five August issues of C&EN can also be downloaded to your smartphone for free. Experiment with the neat functionality that we’ve built into the C&EN Mobile app. The table of contents links you directly to stories in the issue. The stories are formatted for maximum ease in reading. And you can share stories from an issue with a friend using e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook.
Come September, we’re going to charge $2.99 to download an issue. ACS members probably won’t want every issue on their smartphones, but think about being on the road when a new issue of C&EN comes out on a Monday—you can access all that great content without waiting to get home to your paper copy or the electronic edition on your laptop.
By 2012, we will have a mechanism whereby ACS members can access each issue at no charge. You’ll be able to subscribe to a year’s worth of C&EN on your smartphone in addition to receiving the print or electronic editions as part of your ACS membership.
C&EN Mobile is another step in the evolution of how we deliver C&EN content to our readers. In the course of 2011, we have introduced an entirely new digital workflow system, and by the end of the year, we will have implemented a new Web content management and delivery system for a completely redesigned C&EN Online. All these efforts are focused on delivering a better, more useful newsmagazine to our readers.
Thanks for reading.