Okay, yes, this took me a long time and probably should have done it as soon as I became EiC, but last month I finally loaded the JGR Space Physics app onto my phone. My experience with it can be summed up in a word: fantastic!
It seems very easy to navigate and you can get the full article text right there on your mobile device. The menu starts with “Early View” articles, assuming that you are using the app to check out the latest papers available from the journal, but it has an “Issues” tab that allows you to browse through any article since the creation of the app, which was about a year ago. It also has a “Saved Articles” tab for quickly pulling up any article that you flag for inclusion in this folder. This feature seems especially handy as I go through the issues and identify the papers of most interest to me.
Reading papers on my phone was actually pretty easy for me to accept. The default font size is big, making it very readable on the tiny screen. I find it much easier to read than many news apps, which insist on a much smaller font size. The size is adjustable, too, in the Settings tab. The figures on embedded just like in the HTML version of the paper and clicking on them opens a larger view. In fact, allowing better adjustability of papers for mobile devices was one of the driving factors in switching to the new single-column paper format.
One of the best features that I have found regarding the app is the “roaming” feature. Being at a major research university, I have access to most journals that I want to browse through institutional subscriptions, and this is true for AGU journals. With the app, you need log in (and perhaps create an account) at the Wiley Online Library and turn on “roaming access” under the “My profile” top menu link. When you download the app and request institutional access, you get instructions on how to do this. When you first set it up, the mobile device must be on the wifi network on the institution. After that, however, the app will remember this connection that you have with an institutional subscription and still allow access to any article. I really like this feature for reading on my phone wherever I am, like this week being in Portland at the LWS Workshop.
There is one critical issue about the app regarding institutional access: your roaming access must be refreshed every 90 days. That is, after 3 months, you have to bring the device within the wifi network of the institution, go to the Wiley website, and click a button to reinstate access for another 3 months. This mild inconvenience is a tradeoff that allows “anywhere” access to those with subscriptions while also trying to limit fraud. Specifically, it prevents one-time visitors to a subscriber institution from “forever onward” having unlimited access to journal articles. People can make such connections, but they expire after 90 days.
I highly encourage you to check out the mobile apps for AGU’s journals. I’ve installed several of them now and I’m enjoying their use.