The trimmed-down Times on iPad stems from a reported deal that Amazon made with the paper for the Kindle. Amazon has an exclusive on the full content of the Times for e-readers. On the Kindle, you have to subscribe to read the Times, even though the full content is free and available on the web. The Amazon deal apparently allows competitors to have the full text, but not at a lower price.
Earlier this month, the New York Times raised subscription prices on the Kindle from
US$13.99 to $19.99 a month.
The Times has already said it wants to charge readers for the web version, maybe $20-30 a month. That arrangement left Apple with a pretty truncated version of the Times for the iPad.
[via Business Insider]
Apple has been pretty much ignoring the Times iPad app. It's not been listed as a "favorite" or "noteworthy" in the app store.
Reviews from users have been pretty negative, with people wondering where all the content is. Ironically, the New York Times app for the iPhone has the full edition.
I like the iPad version, largely because it has the same 'look and feel' of the Times paper edition. The same fonts, and general layout. On the other hand, I don't like getting a fraction of the paper, and understand how Steve and others feel.
There are alternatives. The AP News iPad app is free but has a GUI that seems to have been designed by a distracted committee. Making things worse, all the news apps work differently. The New York Times app lets you scroll sideways for more stories, then click and scroll sideways again to read them. The USA Today app has you scroll down for more stories, and scroll down to read more. The AP app scrolls sideways for the little strips that contain stories, but then you scroll down to read each story. It would be nice to see some consistency, and one shouldn't have to learn a new set of rules for each app.
Steve hyped the New York Times when the iPad was introduced in January, but he can't be happy that the best the paper could come up with is a nicely designed app with crippled content. The Times may have "all the news that's fit to print", but they certainly aren't giving us all the news that's fit to read, at least on our iPads.