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

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New York Times "experimental" web app

New York Times “experimental” web app

Late last year, the Times added what it called an “experimental” web app built specifically for use with an iPad’s web browser.  I’ve been using it sporadically for the past few months and have mixed feelings about it.  Most (60%) tablet users prefer to get their news via a web browser, according to a recent Pew Research Center Study, while only 16% said they get most of their news using apps.

Unlike a traditional iPad app, the web app never has to be updated.  But that’s probably where the advantages stop.  First, the web app is only usable by someone who already is a subscriber, while the iPad app gives anyone who downloads it top news stories.  The web app’s layout makes it harder to find important news stories from the list of stories in the left margin.  Since the stories (unlike the iPad app and itself) are not paginated, users have to scroll to read a complete story.  Unlike on the iPad app, there’s no way to save articles for later reference but other sharing options (e-mail, Facebook) are present.

In a similar manner to the iPad app, one can swipe to the left or right to change sections or tap on an icon for the menu bar.

One choice not available on the iPad app is the Times Wire, which presents the most recent updates from the paper.  This section updates frequently but not automatically: a small button appears, asking for permission to update the list of articles and it can sometimes appear several times within a short period of time, making it more of an annoyance than a benefit.


It’s quite clear, at least to me, that no one has found the perfect recipe for presenting news and features on a tablet.  I find myself bouncing between the website (on my iPad), the iPad app, and the new web app, wishing that there were one solution that presented all the news fit for me to read.



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