Jack Wallen takes a close-up look at the TechRepublic application on an Android tablet.
- View article by latest
- View article by author
- View article by blog topic
- View article by newest
Let's get a close-up look at the TechRepublic application on an Android tablet.
This app requires the following permissions:
- Network communication
- Full Internet access (allows the app to create network sockets)
- View network state
- System tools - retrieve running applications
- Your location - coarse (network-based) location
To install the TechRepublic app, follow these steps:
- Open up the Google Play Store on your tablet
- Search for "techrepublic" (no quotes)
- Select the TechRepublic application
- Tap Install
- Tap Accept & download
Once installed, you'll find the launcher in your app drawer. Tap that launcher to open up the TechRepublic application.
UsageThe TechRepublic app is incredibly easy to use. When you launch the application, you see content on the Latest tab (Figure A). When new articles are published on the TechRepublic site, the Latest tab on the app refreshes, and they automatically appear here. Figure A
The TechRepublic app as seen on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab.To view an article, simply tap on the title (Figure B). Figure B
Here you see a mobile view of a TechRepublic article via the Android app.While you can choose to view articles by Authors, scrolling through this listing is time consuming with slow connections. However, you can save considerable time by using the built-in search feature. Simply tap on the app's menu button (three horizontal lines in the bottom panel), and then tap Search. From the search field (Figure C), enter the name of the author you want to find, and then tap the Go button. Figure C
Here's a search listing for author Jack Wallen.
The way the posts are displayed is a real plus, because you get them unencumbered by any extraneous information -- no Flash and no ads. Thus, posts appear quickly and can be read without distraction.You can also view a quick listing by Blogs. Tap on the Blogs tab at the top of the app, and all of the TechRepublic blogs will be listed (Figure D). Figure D
Here is the Blogs listing on the TechRepublic app.
Tap on one of the blogs to view all of its associated posts. There is, at the moment, no way to sort the search results, so once you get your results displayed, you might have to do a bit of scrolling to find the article you're looking for. Of course, you can always search by topic (or article title) instead of author name.
What it's missing
The TechRepublic application has one glaring miss -- there's no way to log in and interact with the community, such as posting comments on an article, joining in discussions, or asking/answering questions in TechRepublic's Q&A. Also missing is the ability to sort and filter search results, which would make the app much more efficient.
It's great to see that CBS Interactive is working to make the TechRepublic experience simple and user-friendly for IT pros on the go. Download the free TechRepublic app on your tablet, and let us know what you think about it in the discussion thread below.