New York Times iPad App With Search and Web App – Review

By Paul Riegler on 1 March 2013
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Search results on the New York Times app

Search results on the New York Times app

Last week the New York Times issued an updated iPad app and finally added search functionality. The search engine looks through articles on the device itself as well as on  After using the app for a week, I found that search functionality on the app versus on the website itself is rather limited.

Unlike on the web, however, the app has no advanced search and no ability to order results by newest, oldest, or relevance.  Even though the app is searching both the articles on the iPad and on the Times’ website, search results vary greatly, and the website always found what I was looking for whereas using the app almost never did.

A search for “American Airlines” brought up the expected results on the website and nonsensical results (“Are We in Danger of a Beer Monopoly?”) on the app.  In part this is because the app presents search results on the ipad first and you have to scroll down to see articles found on Times’ website.  When I did scroll down, the first articles were weeks out of date (“American and US Airways Announce Deal for $11 Billion Merger” and “American and US Airways May Announce a Merger This Week”).

Incidentally, until this update, neither the New York Times nor the Wall Street Journal offered any kind of search within the app.

The New York Times has had somewhat of a checkered record with respect to its iPad app updates.  A July 2011 update rendered the app largely unusable, causing its rating on iTunes to drop to two out of five stars.  Jonathan Spira, writing in these pages, said that “reading the New York Times via its iPad app is an exercise in frustration thanks to a poor user interface that leaves me constantly wishing I had the actual paper in front of me.”

Still, the current version has gotten relatively good user ratings, four star, albeit by a relatively small group of users (28) thus far.  The app’s overall rating, with almost 22,000 ratings, is only 2.5 stars.  By contrast, the Wall Street Journal’s current version has a rating of 4.5 stars by over 8,000 users with an overall rating of 3.5 stars by over 65,000 users.

Click here to continue to Page 2New York Times Experimental Web App

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