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The Grand Old Lady of iPad Apps Gets a Facelift

by on October 15th, 2010

When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad to an expectant world on January 27, one of the applications he showed off was the New York Times. It wowed both those in the audience and reviewers, with some heralding it as the future of journalism because of its appealing, readable layout and the way it took advantage of the iPad form factor. When you opened the app you saw a collection of stories laid out like a print newspaper. You tapped a story to read it, or swiped with your finger to go to the second page of news. You could switch between several preselected sections, such as major news, technology, opinion, arts and entertainment and business.

For the early days of the iPad, the New York Times was a trendsetter. But several months have gone by and other media outlets and news aggregators have introduced apps that surpass the Grand Old Lady in functionality. It still remained one of my favourite apps, but its limitations — only certain sections and only a limited number of stories were available, and there was no way to share stories — were annoying.

But today (October 15, 2010), the New York Times released an update that addresses many of the issues with the old app. All sections of the paper are now available; you can share stories through email (with a free NY Times account), Twitter and Facebook, and within each section you now have access to seven screens of stories instead of the former two. Touching the screen on any story brings up a scrollable list of stories along the bottom. Touching the “Sections” icon in the bottom left corner brings up all the newspaper’s sections, including four special categories, Top News, Most E-Mailed, Photos and Video.

And you can even get push notifications of breaking news. All this for free, from one of the world’s best newspapers — the New York Times, still innovating after 150 years in business.

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