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The Times iPad App: Did you miss The Sunday Times?

Here’s the frontpage of today’s The Times iPad application:

The Times iPad App Frontpage

The app has been getting quite a lot of attention over the past few days particularly since it represents a corresponding shift toward a paid-for experience of The Times and The Sunday Times.

I’m going to produce a video-walkthrough shortly — but meantime I wonder if you’ve downloaded the app and used it? What do you think of it?

I, for one, was absolutely astonished to open up the application on Sunday morning and find nothing new.

“Where’s the Sunday Times?” I wondered, “I’ve paid a tenner for this so where is it?”

I stared — very annoyed — at the blank screen of the App Frontpage (which was showing Saturday’s edition as the latest). I was very annoyed because you and I know it’s a piece of simplicity to dump The Sunday Times into this app. The same production system that creates The Times daily content can, I’m sure, do the same with The Sunday Times.

But no.

On Saturday morning I was part of the initiated, part of the few, part of the exclusive ‘Times App’ users. Because I’d paid the tenner.

On Sunday morning I was unceremoniously dumped outside, left to stare, nose pressed against the window. And highly, highly unimpressed.

I thought I was buying access to a daily news app. Not a Monday-to-Saturday app. Whilst News Corporation might think they’re two different brands, they’re not — not to me. All I wanted and all I expected was some sodding news.

And what a total gimp I felt for even tapping on The Times app on Sunday morning.

The real, REAL danger for News Corporation is that I’m only one tap away from the rest of the planet’s news sources. I brought up Safari, tapped on The Telegraph and boom. I was done. I had a quick scan and got on with my day. Whether it was The Telegraph or The Guardian or The Times, you know what, I couldn’t really give a stuff.

So I’m not impressed with that ‘no Sunday Times‘ policy. But I have been enjoying getting to grips with the application. I really like the idea that it downloads an entire copy so I could read it on the train or on the plane without having to connect to the internet. That does appeal. I also like the way they’ve chosen to lay out and animate the various sections.

I’m quite disappointed that I can’t ‘do’ anything with the content. I can’t, for example, email a link to a friend. And I obviously can’t tweet about it.

Have you tried the app? How have you found it?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

12 replies on “The Times iPad App: Did you miss The Sunday Times?”

You’re definately not alone in your feelings judging be the recent App Store reviews that it’s been receiving!

I mirror you feelings exactly. I think it's a lovely app, but can get the news elsewhere. I always thought well I will pay for it but probably won't get time to read it much during the week, but will really enjoy reading it on a Sunday morning. Like you I was shocked not to have the Sunday times this weekend. So I don't think I will renew next month.

Sad as the app and content it good, but it's over priced and did not meet expectations with the missing sunday

Disappointing indeed, though may I point out the publisher of both newspapers is News International, not News Corporation – I used to work for them until they went paywall.

I agree completely. I have used the USA Today app on the iPad since it came out and as an ex-pat I was delighted when the Times app came out. It is well done and I enjoy the daily read. I have handsome issues – yesterday, it crashed and when I restarted, all the papers I had downloaded were gone. I restarted the ipadand it finally reloaded them all.

Getting the Sunday Times would be incredible – I cannot believe that they did not include it. This app is good and worth the subscription but leaves you dissatisfied by not getting seven days a week. It is like having a Big Mac and not being allowed Fries.

I also paid to download this app on a Sunday and you can imagine my disappointment that I could only download the day before's news! Another thing I find annoying is the Terms and Conditions is obviously just copied from their website as it's a website T&C document that does not mention the iPad and when I downloaded the app there was no indication that it would not included the Sunday Times! What do they expect us to do, pay for a separate app on a Sunday? I don't normally read a daily newspaper but I could imagine subscribing regularly to this app, but not if it does not include the Sunday!

Hello there,

I'm Graham and I work for News International. I've just been reading your blog and I'm very sorry for the confusion regarding the apps. The description has been changed to be very, very clear about what you're getting and Sunday Times app is due for release soon. The exact date and price is still tbc.

In terms of the apps, they will be very different, reflecting the experience of the individual online editions, However both aim to maximise on the experience the iPad allows space for: interactive news, info-graphics, videos, images, photos, and simple nav.

Please do keep reporting the issues you have. We're are continuing to review and develop every day. You can e mail or tweet us @New_TheTimes

Graham Drew

The only paper I tend to buy on a regular basis the Sunday Times, so I was sorely disappointed that it wasn't there as well, I quite like the app, although the navigation is initially confusing when compared with normal iPad web surfing, you get used to it though, aesthetically the main thing I would change is that an article will sometimes go onto one column on a new page – it's just a bit strange seeing all that white.

Absolutely right and the solution for me was the same – switch to the Sunday Telegraph.The Times layout is first class and I am a convert to reading it in iPad format.However It frustrating not to receive the Sunday Times within the monthly subscription and not to have a seamless product delivery.I personally find the Sunday layout less streamlined and a little too “tabloid” for my liking.

When I download the times on my iPad through the £9.99 App it sometimes crashes and just freezes ! I'm I alone ? Tim from Highbury

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