San Francisco Chronicle for iPad News App Review (iOS, Free)


Languages: English

Seller: Hearst Newspapers LLC

* Performance Improvements
* Bug Fix: Photo captions wrapping in landscape mode on iOS7

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
137 Ratings
All Versions:
3471 Ratings


(Note: This app requires iOS 5 or later)

The San Francisco Chronicle, reimagined for iPad. It's why you read the San Francisco Chronicle – smart news writing, award-winning photos and columnists, second-to-none Bay Area news coverage – totally redesigned for iPad.

San Francisco Chronicle for iPad features:

- A digital recreation of the San Francisco Chronicle: Articles, photos, sections delivered instantly to your iPad.
- Updates throughout the day: News happens all the time. The Chronicle for iPad is a "live edition" of the San Francisco newspaper – offering global, national and SF news updates.
- SFGate news & bloggers you love from Celebrity scoop from The Daily Dish. Fab pop culture from Hot Topics. Breaking political news from Below the Beltway. All the best blogs, right alongside all the content from the newspaper.
- A carousel navigation: An entirely new way to discover the San Francisco Chronicle. Sections pop and flow, making breezing through stories a snap.
- Incredible 360 degree photo panoramas: The San Francisco Chronicle for iPad shows you San Francisco and the Bay Area in a whole new way. From center field at AT&T Park, to the view in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge, our panoramas bring a whole new dimension to the San Francisco Chronicle’s award-winning photos.
- Up-to-the-second Traffic and Weather sections: Need to bring an umbrella to work? Is the Bay Bridge backed up? Be prepared in a whole new way. The latest weather and traffic updates are only a tap away.
- Seven days of great content: Miss something from Sunday’s Datebook? Want to recheck that wine pairing or re-read the books section? No problem. The San Francisco Chronicle for iPad offers seven days of award-winning journalism at your fingertips.

Subscribing to the San Francisco Chronicle for iPad

Downloading the app is free. New users can use the app for 14 days free.

If you would like to subscribe, you can select monthly ($5.99) or annual ($59.99) subscription.

When purchasing through iTunes, your account will be charged at confirmation of purchase. Any unused portion of your free period will be forfeited at time of purchase.

Your subscription will auto-renew unless you turn this off 24-hours before the subscription runs out. You can turn off auto-renewal at any time from your iTunes account settings.

No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during an active subscription period.

The fine print: Read our Privacy Policy at and Terms of Service at

Customer Reviews

  • Like it

    by goldfishrmyheroes

    Like it. Good navigation. Overall very useful. Ads get in the way but besides that really like it

  • Pretty good

    by Olcorral

    Works very well. Not slow loading. No crashes. Looks like newspaper edition. Like it but does require sub after trial period. At least try it out.

  • i love it

    by asma15

    gave me all the info i wanted

  • fantastic.

    by tVinyl71

    nice reader. not so sure about section-finder

  • Great!!

    by nogreencard

    I start my day with it! Thanks!

  • Best online newspaper

    by Owl642

    Live in Philadelphia PA Area and have tried other online news apps but since we visit Central Coast area often, found this to be a great newspaper app. Love the look and feel. Does not crash on iPad. Good articles, history and art sections.

  • Works for me

    by Matthew Zinkl

    I like, sometimes a bit buggy, but how much is app and how much is it due to my 1st gen iPad?

  • Good to read the paper

    by showin some love

    The app is adequate for what it is. As an old timer (and I suspect most newspaper readers are) I still want bigger and easier to read text. Something like the 'reader' function in Safari.

  • Like it

    by Old Davey

    Not as slick as the NYT app, but I'll take it. I DO want to support local journalism. Note: If you increase text size, the ads at the bottom of the page sometimes cover the text.

  • Offline availability

    by Chard231

    Wish I could read content when not net I can with NYT / WSJ and Press Democrat!!

  • Love it!

    by Kitamita

    Five stars....fabulous! The app works great on my IPad .. It travels with me every where and is readable every where with or without Internet service.

  • Easy to use

    by Pineapple Patty

    Really like ease to go thru sections, articles and the only annoyance is pop up ads.

  • Almost there

    by Cam RA

    I love the convenience but the e version is still missing some of the hard copy features like weather (weather websites don't give rainfall records), the Bad Reporter, and other political cartoons.

  • Not bad, but still needs work

    by Retired Techie2

    The latest version of this app is not terrible, as some have suggested, but it's not great either. First the good: 1. Navigation is easy. You can easily find articles and, once open, the article can be read straight through without searching for the "continued on page x" rest of the article. 2. More photos are included and are bright, highly detailed, and with colors all in register. 3. Links to SFGate are included, as well as historical articles from the Chron. 4. No ink on your hands, no balky paper to fold, and no fighting over who gets what section. Now the bad: 1. The ads at the bottom of the page sometimes cover part of the text. 2. Tabular material in the articles NEVER shows up properly. The formatting just doesn't work. 3. Certain items that are in the print edition are not in the iPad edition. For instance, Click 'n Clack, and a few of the cartoons. This may not be a fault of the app (could be a contract issue), but is definitely a feature (and just as definitely NOT a benefit). So, on the whole, I find the app worth using, but I wish the problems would get fixed.

  • Very Good App

    by Jimmu Shiro

    Very good newspaper app. Better than print or SF Gate. Good nav. Doesn't freeze anymore.

  • After the Apple OS upgrade we lost access

    by Not2hpy

    I love the Chronicle. However, we have not been able to read it for four weeks or more. We upgraded the IOS and had to go through hell to even get back to a statement that says we "must be on the internet to connect to the server." Well, duh, what am I on now? Except I cannot read my newspaper!

  • And we're this close to Silicon Valley...

    by QuipMC

    The team at Chron needs to look at a few other online papers to see how it's done. Frequent freezes that require restarting the app, that annoying car ad that springs up unbidden, content from the print edition that is unavailable online, no ability to zoom in on comics making at least one of the Sunday strips unreadable, failure to use links effectively....on the whole it's amateurish. Of course a paper that still wastes space running "Peanuts" is clearly stuck in the past...or doesn't know how to end a contract. Meh.

  • Improving and convenient, updated nov 2013

    by Churchladysnl

    Had this app for over a year and they seem to make improvements where needed and Should continue. Many of the tables in articles are still not aligning properly so I mess be able to gets updates from these. Overall, I like reading the digital version more than I thought I would. Still like the Sunday paper on paper too. thanks Chronicle. Keep improving this app. Pls. Fix the words showing when pictures appear. This problem has never been fixed.

  • Works great

    by GDAtkins

    Have had the app for 2 weeks now and it has been great. I have been reading the Chron for 25 years now and while I like the print version best, this is great for the stories I miss or when the family has all the sections. I can finally read everything without having to wait.

  • Works great

    by Judas Priest '79

    Never thought I'd enjoy the iPad version as much as I like the print version. Only took a month or so to be converted. Still read the print version on certain days. But not every day day as I had for decades.

  • Zero Contact - Zero Chron

    by Oakport

    After several months and multiple vain attempts, the Chronicle App continues to not recognize my email! I have written, texted, phoned (I don't own a Carrier Pigeon) - all to no avail). I would give up but I would still like to read the Chron I have paid for.

  • Was going to give it 3 stars but then...

    by DragonflySF

    The site spinning and spinning around on download for three minutes now...whaat?! I jumped on USA Today, instant download, so it has to be their app. When it does work, I would say it was OK and I find the ads annoying, especially if I am a paid subscriber and made to close those pesky ads. This recent development on not being able to download the edition just dropped their ranking from an intended 3-stars to 1-star. You'd think that being in the Bay Area with all this technology around, that their app would be better.

  • Haven't been able to load newspapers for 2 days

    by Suvo1

    This app seems to get worse with each release. For the past 2 days I haven't been able to get the editions to download. At least once every 2 weeks, the app won't load for a day or 2. The app is now very slow, adds cover up print articles. As other shave said, don't bother calling for help, they are clueless as to what you are talking about. Doesn't anyone on staff read these reviews???

  • Still unstable

    by John by the Bay

    Love the Chronicle, but in this home of high tech, why can't it develop a reliable app? It still crashes and burns several times daily, though at least sections don't seem to freeze anymore. If the NY Times can maintain a decent app, you'd think the Chron could, as well. Come on!

  • Won't Download

    by Mcbridges

    Good if I can get to the app, but there are more and more days when it won't load.

  • Such a poor working app

    by Mr. Sprott

    Given SF is in the tech center of the world, it really is sad how pathetic this app is. Had to dump it and reload it twice in the past week because it just froze up. If you compare this to what the NY Times uses, it's night and day. We stick with it because the morning newspaper delivery service had become so unreliable we were hardly ever getting a delivery. It could be so much better.

  • Very unstable and slow

    by slowerhand

    August 2013: This app is worse than ever - it crashes, fails to load, the text is overrun by the ads. Isn't anyone with any brains working on this? I'd think the Chron's owners would be embarrassed. It's late August and they haven't done any updates in six weeks. What a delightful combination: incompetence + sloth. June 2013: As much as I enjoy my Chron fix, I am frustrated multiple times per iPad session by: slow loading, crashing, ads on top of text, comics page freezing - ALL often happening more than once in a single session. I know their techs are trying, as things have gotten a little better of late. HOWEVER, this is the MOST unstable app I use. January 14, 2014: Things are a bit faster, which is good, but: I use the text setting of 5, and for about 95% of the articles I load, the text runs all over the page, even over the ads. For each article I load, I have to change the text size from 5 back to 1, then back to 5. This is extremely boring, annoying, and tedious. I can't be the first person who has had this experience. It occurs on two iPads: a 2 and an Air. Somebody, please wake up and attend to this!! Thanks.

  • Used to work fine, will cancel my subscription

    by BobDFish

    After my ipad2 kept constantly rebooting, and after trying all the restore, reset, etc, i finally decided to see what was in the crash logs under System>About. There it was, "Main" from sfgate constantly causing the crash. I'm done with this app. It used to be great, but then they started messing with downloads, etc. Now this app is a plague. Subscription cancelled.

  • Horrendous

    by YT Blue

    This app is inexcusably pathetic. Especially since I've been a subscriber to the print edition for decades. I keep trying to sign on, but it doesn't recognize me. Don't bother to call the customer service number for help; it's a general number. The Bay Area is a top tech center, but the Chron can't make their app work. Horrendous.

  • Still buggy and would prefer archives

    by Quesochica

    This app still occasionally crashes or gets stuck on a particular day. I would appreciate some archived content (like the NYTimes does) - it would allow me access to...say...96 hours but a day later

  • Still awful

    by Alan in Oakland

    Their login process is very poorly documented and buggy and you can only resolve it by phone (they don't respond to email inquiries). Well they finally got it so you can sometimes read the paper away from an Internet connection. But it still reformats the articles as you watch (I can read faster than it formats!). And the interface is still poorly designed. And it still pops up Cadillac ads when you least expect it. And the newest update puts all the picture captions and ads over the text and off the edge of the screen. Doesn't anyone do any quality control on this app? Oh, and they lay out comics so it takes forever to read them--and I still haven't been able to read a Sunday "non sequitor" in over 2 years because there is just no way to make it legible. The Bay Area deserves better. They just added access to the SF Chronicle web site--for an additional fee! Pretty cheesy, I say No Thanks.

  • Can't sign in

    by Fog3

    Very frustrating...can no longer access the site. I have an old original I need to upgrade in order to access?

  • Anonymous in Philadelphia

    by brogantaylor

    deceptive advertising. not a good newspaper.

  • What a joke!

    by Sincerely2

    It's interesting that you pay for a subscription to read the chronicle and you really cannot read the articles because they are covered up with ads that cannot be closed. So this way you are forcing readers to click the ads and I guess someone is getting "click thru credit"

  • Needs a lot of help

    by Hybridmom

    Great paper... Ok app... Falls short of its promises; it is suppose to be shared by other devises in the home. My husband and I share it on our IPads except his keeps blocking him from opening it and its a huge process to get it back up and running. Better get the paper delivered to your home if you expect to share it with anyone else!

  • From bad to worse

    by Missing the printed page

    An incredibly buggy app, ads cover pieces of the story, it crashes, etc And now it won't recognize my subscription or let me reset the password. The only reason we kept the limited print subscription was for access to the app. Guess it's time to cancel all ties to the Chronicle.

  • Ads cover story

    by Granthelper

    Really need to fix the issue of the bottom of first page of stories getting covered by ads.

  • Keep improving please!

    by GabrielleGgg

    Ok but stil needs work. Articles are cut in too many slices. Too much stuff on the edges takes room and is a distraction.

  • Unstable app. Don't bother

    by Slytheran

    Terrible app. Very unstable. The advertisements at the bottom of the page often overlap the articles. You will constantly have to restart this app. New York Times app infinitely better

  • Garbage - Deserves 0 stars

    by aristeides

    I can't load the app often. I get charged every month but am stuck on the subscription screen. The few times I've been able to get content it's been riddled with the Cadillac ad. I've deleted and redownloaded a few times now and still doesn't work. If you want a laugh try calling the subscription department with a subscription issue - they neither understand nor want anything to do with this. An unmitigated joke...

  • Just got worse

    by BostonMike7

    The Chronicle app has one big benefit, which is all of the newspaper's content on the iPad available instantly from wherever you travel. Unfortunately, it has several major drawbacks: 1. It's extremely slow, each click needing to pull data from the server. 2. Directly related to the above, it can't work offline so forget about using it on the plane. 3. The most recent version keeps asking for you to pay, even if you already have an iPad subscription. This makes it unusable until they fix the bug. I had higher hopes for the bay area' stop newspaper.

  • Just got worse

    by BostonMike7

    The Chronicle app has one big benefit, which is all of the newspaper's content on the iPad available instantly from wherever you travel. Unfortunately, it has several major drawbacks: 1. It's extremely slow, each click needing to pull data from the server. 2. Directly related to the above, it can't work offline so forget about using it on the plane. 3. The most recent version keeps asking for you to pay, even if you already have an iPad subscription. This makes it unusable until they fix the bug. I had higher hopes for the bay area' stop newspaper.

  • Could and should be better

    by rhgold53

    Some text is now covered by ads and captions. Everything else below also still applies. This app really needs an update! As others have said, this app is sloooooooooooow. Why aren't the pages within an article set up so that you just scroll downward to read the rest of the story beyond the first screen? Having to hit that tiny arrow over and over again to go to the next page is just plain dumb. It reminds me of the worst of newspaper web pages that require you to keep clicking "next" rather than just scrolling downward to read the whole article. Also, paid subscribers should not be continually harassed by the full screen adverts that require clicking to close!

  • Great if you like Cadillac

    by Rebcari

    Your reading enjoyment is constantly interrupted by an ad for Cadillac. You have to tap the page to close the ad, and after you read a few more pages, the ad is back. Other than the annoying ad, the app is not terrible, but not great.

  • Can't sign in & no one cares to help

    by Mikey Kopicko

    It's a bummer when you try to support your local paper but they don't fix the digital access issue you've reported multiple times.

  • Frustrating app; SF Chronicle needs to improve

    by Jenns D.

    Many times the paper will not update every day! Why? Why can't the Chronicle keep up with all the other papers? I have reported this numerous times....still a problem.

  • Still Needs Improvement

    by Bubba from SF

    Although the app seems to be more stable, I still find the user interface a bit clunky, compared to other newspaper apps (NY Times, USA Today, etc). Updates are still slow, even on my speedy WiFi network. I think it sill needs more work.

  • The worst app EVER

    by Chronicle app boo!

    Whoever is in charge of developing this app should be fired. The only thing it does reliably is charge me monthly. Can't sign in after update somehow they can only keep track of my account on the billing side!

  • Review

    by San Mateo John

    Absolute junk. Ads block news stories, numerous other errors that any proofreader should correct. Many previous reviewers have suggested you hire some professional web page designer but you obviously have ignored them. Sunday Sports, no sports/TV calendar? Amateur Hour.

  • Only ½ the content

    by SleeplessinSF

    I don't get it....I pay for a subscription & only get 1/2 content...frustrating

  • OK

    by thegoddesspenelope

    My main complaint is that the story titles make no distinction between blogs and newspaper articles. Innocently clicking on a title which turns out to be a blog makes it impossible to go back without several steps. Very annoying. I do sometimes want to read a blog, but please make it smoother to go back. That complaint aside the whole app is clunky. But I get the paper which is my main goal. Ads pop up unexpectedly and often, especially a Cadillac ad. There seems to be no reason.

  • Still so bad

    by hmbcoastsider

    Captions to photos often covered up by advertising. Regular features, like in the Sunday edition, "good week, bad week" still all messed up, not lined up properly. Poorly done app.

  • How can an app from SF be so bad?

    by susanlindh

    First do not block the article with your stupid Cadilacs and please let us scroll WITHOUt the cadilacccccccccccsss

  • SF Chronicle

    by Hearst96

    Skip this one. Very unreliable and it unexpectedly stopped working for me about a month ago even though the subscription is not supposed to expire until the end of the month. There are better newspaper apps out there than this one.

  • Unreliable Download

    by elrobt

    In addition to the criticism of the format and lack of offline capability, I find that the Chron application often fails to download the new edition online. In contrast the New York Times app loads quickly each morning. It has replaced the Chron as my primary paper print and e-edition .

  • Can't even log in

    by TamHikerBiker

    I've only been a subscriber for decades but the app does not recognize my user account or address. Along with the other numerous complaints, this is one sorry attempt at moving your newspaper into the 21st century. Come on, this is SF! You can do better than this, and frustrate your loyal followers!

  • This is the most frustrating app - and they charged you to read this paper!

    by Local Burlingame

    I have more problems with this app than any of my other 100+ apps put together. I have not been able to get back online since they supposedly updated the app for iOS 7. Anyone else having any issue? I have deleted the app and restored to no avail.

  • Broken

    by ucsfvet

    Chronicle app won't dismiss after viewing in App Store, which is now inaccessible.

  • sf chronicle app IPAD

    by Relaohy

    this is the slowest worst newspaper app of all I read... It is an embarrassment to silicon valley. Some things never load, savimg editions to read off line is interminable.. takes forever to download, sf gate is much faster.

  • Frustrated describes the way it makes me

    by PatTibbs

    I enjoy being able to read my Chron via an app that presents the real look of the paper but I don't appreciate it crashing, or encountering the caption on a photo slipping down the right side of the frame and obscuring the copy in the article it accompanies. While I do appreciate the absence of copious ads it would be great if the auto download function worked without interruption. It's just beyond frustrating to open my paper while on Muni only to see a message advising that the "feature" is not available without a connection to the Internet.

  • Improvements, Finally!

    by Jim from CA

    Always liked the format, news, crosswords, etc. App was terrible. Usually took between way too long to infinity just to load. And then nothing worked well. Could take over a minute to enter a word into crossword. Searching was a joke. Something changed a couple of weeks ago. Everything works and no frustrating delays.

  • SF Chron

    by texaslonghornfan

    Very poor ... Slug plus ads get in front of articles ...

  • Great idea/interface; terrible implementation

    by Bichael Claus

    This program is frustrating to me. It is the way I want to read the Chronicle and they seem to have fixed the problems with continual crashes and not getting the downloading proper -- at least to the point where this only happens occasionally. Still too often for a program to get a good rating from me. HOWEVER 1) Now the program seems to have the photo captions spilling into the text of the story I'm reading way too often, making it impossible to read the full story. 2) Ditto re ads. Sometimes the ads (which I don't object to -- that is how this program is supported) cover up text and make it difficult or impossible to read the story. 3) Whose column -- I have written the Chronicle before (and they blew it off apparently) that the columnists should have a single word at the beginning of the headline in the sidebar saying that it is that person's column -- like Garchick, Carroll, Abby, Insider, Brown, M&R. These writers are high on the list of why I read the Chronicle and you can't always check, when scanning the sidebar, that this story was written by this writer. (For some reason they seem to be able to do this for Pender.) 4) Sunday comics -- the layout of the Sunday comics is such that I'm continually shifting the orientation of my iPad to be able to read each comic. And some (like Non Sequitor) are often impossible to read because the type is too small.

  • Dysfunctional sfgate

    by east bay reviewer

    No ability to download for later reading, Where is a robust search and save article function? Dismal. Deliberately dysfunctional.

  • View More


Top News Apps

Loading More Awesome Apps...