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Hands On With the New NYTimes iPad App

Until today, the New York TimesEditors’ Choice iPad app only offered access to a limited number of articles. Now, however, a full-blown NYTimes app has replaced this limited app. The new app offers access to all of the paper’s articles, including the weekend magazine and some of the NYTimes’ blogs.

To get full access to the content, users do need an NYTimes.com account, however. Unregistered users will only be able to see a limited selection of articles , including the top news stories, most emailed stories, business news and a small selection of videos.

Overall, the new app resembles the old Editors’ Choice app, but instead of the menu bar with icons for the limited selection of available sections at the bottom of the screen, the new app now features a button that opens up a menu with a list of all the 25 available sections. As the app now also makes far more articles available, the designers added a new scroll bar at the bottom of the articles that allows you to easily switch between stories and go back to the main section (this scroll bar only appears when you tap on the text).

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Besides these minor changes, the app will feel very familiar to anybody who ever used the old app. The only other major addition are push notifications for breaking news alerts and a dedicated photos section that looks similar to Boston.com’s Big Picture and the Guardian’s Eyewitness photo app.

While it doesn’t offer a dedicated offline mode, the app will cache articles for offline browsing. As far as we can see, this offline mode won’t display any images, however, unless you already browsed through the section while you were still online.

Overall, all of this additional content comes with a small performance penalty, as the app doesn’t feel quite as snappy as the original one. This is a small price to pay, however.¬†For now, the app will remain free, but the NYTimes plans to charge monthly and/or annual subscriptions in the long run.

One could argue that the new app doesn’t do anything wildly new and isn’t highly innovative. Personally, I am perfectly happy to just have easy access to all of the NYTimes on my iPad. The content really speaks for itself and doesn’t need bells and whistles to stand out from the competition.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I used the updated app today. Not sure why they dont cache the images – I used the NY Post app as well – much better implementation. Images were all available, unlike the NY Times. Very frustrating. Also the NY Times does not group the papers by date. So if you look at a section like Fashion, you will see articles from a few days ago. It is not obvious which are the new articles from today and which are old. They have a way to go before this is a usable app, especially in offline mode.

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