I gave up the daily printed Wall Street Journal about a month ago in favor of the Wall Street Journal subscriber Amazon Kindle Fire tablet application. After using it every day I can say with all honesty that it’s pretty if not very good. The daily download of Today’s Paper happens every morning usually about 5 AM. It’s intuitive, easy to navigate and the search functions work well. The same cannot be said for the recently launched New York Times newspaper app for the Amazon Kindle Fire.
The NY Times app for the Kindle Fire was offered free through the end of the month of July so starting Thursday August 1st readers will have to pony up to access it. As a New York Times every day print subscriber I am at least expecting the application to be offered free, which at the moment is not saying much.
The NY Times iPad application has been available for quite some time and works in much the same fashion as the Kindle Fire app which is to say – far from great. It amazes me that two of the three national U.S. newspapers (USA today being the third) could treat their reader experiences so differently. The Times does not offer an option to read today’s paper as is the case with the Journal. The drop down menu offers many choices but articles are lumped in places where you sometimes would not expect to find them. Articles from prior issues are mixed under headings like U.S., World, Business etc.
It took ages for the NY Times to get a tablet application out that even functioned. Since I travel a great deal having a great NY Times tablet app would be terrific for people like me. But at the moment I’d suggest sticking with the mobile site which seems more intuitive and is easier to navigate.
One last thing that I cannot understand is why in the sports pages area of the NY Times application and site, there is no listing of the standings of the various professional sports teams. There are no box scores either for any sport. The Journal has never offered standings and box scores on any regular basis so it’s not expected. There also is no way easy to view the weather forecast for New York or any other city for that matter. The printed New York Times has extensive listings of box scores, schedules, standings and a big weather page graphic every day. Why not include this in the app? Could it be that the Times is nervous that if their tablet app is really good people will cancel the printed paper and they will lose advertising revenue since advertisers are not willing to pay as much for tablet subscribers than print edition subscribers?
I can’t come up with another reason can you? Help me out here. Why is the Times providing such an inferior experience?