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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: New York Times Web + Tablet Subscription

After not having a great time on the Kindle subscription to the New York Times, I tried the web + tablet subscription on the $1 trial plan. I tried using the subscription on both Windows and Android tablets.

The Android app was frustrating. For instance, occasionally while reading an article the app would refresh. That's OK. But it would refresh back to "Top Stories", losing your place in the article and your entire context. Navigation was slow, and the app was slow to load data. Using the web browser on my Nexus 7 to visit was also slow, and the website continuously forgot my login, forcing me to login multiple times. The plus was the the android app made it extremely easy to share to Google+, Facebook, etc. The minus was that the android app made it impossible to copy and paste quotes from the article I was reading, which was also frustrating.

The Windows metro app was much less frustrating as a reading experience. It never refreshed randomly, always loaded quickly. Navigation was a bit unintuitive as you had to swiped down from the bottom or top to switch sections, but that's apparently a new UI gesture unique to Windows tablets, so I just had to get used to it. The minus, however, was severe. You absolutely couldn't share articles from the Windows app to Google+ or Facebook. What a crock.

Ultimately, however, the biggest problem with the New York Times is that you always feel like you're paying for yesterday's news. I almost always got better news faster from other sources (usually blogs or topic-specific websites), and for analysis, blogs seem to provide more intelligent and cogent analysis written by people smarter than English majors.

As a result, I've canceled my subscription and switch to getting news on the internet.

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