When the iPad launched, many expected the New York Times to follow-up its awesome iPhone app with an equally impressive version for Apple’s tablet. Instead, we got “Editor’s Choice.” Now the newspaper is trying to make amends with a brand new app that provides access to all of its content.
Even Steve Jobs was apparently quite displeased with the Editor’s Choice app. In fact, as Valleywag pointed out back in May, “NYT Editors’ Choice was not even listed in the “News” section of the iPad app store for weeks after the device launched, we’re told, although it has since been filed there. Talk about life as an orphan.”
Well, the message got through, loud and clear, and late yesterday saw the release of a new NYT app: one that doesn’t hold anything back. At least, not if you sign up for an account, and not for the time being. You can sign up for an NYT website account right from within the app, however, and there’s no cost to do so. All content will remain free for the remainder of 2010, at least, but the newspaper clearly wants to see if it can’t recoup some revenue directly from readers in the new year.
The app not only contains all sections and articles from the newspaper; it also provides access to a selection of blog content, and all videos from the website. The interface hasn’t changed, and it didn’t really need to, since it already functioned quite well.
I’m very happy to see the NYT finally get with the program and deliver a full-featured product for the iPad, and I’m sure Steve is too. I’m wary of the “early 2011” timeline for ending free access, but newspapers obviously need to find a new revenue model that works, and I don’t begrudge them that.
This might be an indicator that Apple is indeed moving ahead with its plans for iTunes-based subscriptions to newspaper content, as we’ve reported, and that those plans are meant to bear fruit early next year.
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