The Guardian’s Android beta app is beautiful, fast and free

UK-based The Guardian is a newspaper transforming into a digital content powerhouse. Though it’s kept its best content in front of a paywall until now, the company has experimented with a number of apps, mostly for iOS, including the photography-focused Guardian Eyewitness for iPad.

Today, The Guardian is debuting a brand new beta app for Android, and while the previous version was attractive and usable, this one shows some of the nicest attention to detail I’ve seen in an Android news app.

The app is clean, with plenty of sharp black serif type on white backgrounds, but features a left-side menu for easy navigation between categories and sections. The app is now optimized for tablets, a rarity among news services, and has smoother scrolling than any other app we’ve tested (outside of Play Newsstand and perhaps Circa).

The Guardian is also pushing its $3 CDN/month subscription service that does away with advertising and offers premium content to subscribers.

To sign up for the beta program, head to The Guardian’s Google+ page to join the community, and then become a tester. Once completed, the updated beta app will be available in Google Play.

[source]The Guardian[/source]