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Latest iPhone app for the New York Times, version 3.0, gets a brand new look for paying users
Days before its much-discussed and dissected paywall goes live, the New York Times has refreshed the look of its iPhone app.
In NYTimes 3.0.0, everything, from the splash screen to the articles, has been redesigned with a fresh and clean look almost worth paying to see. The Times logo at the top of the screen has been inverted and enlarged just a tad, and the bar beneath it that typically read “Latest News updated moments ago” has been removed. Both of these changes give more prominence to the logo and articles underneath.
Article headlines have been restored to a stately black, fitting more in line with the Times’ overall visual style, and the buttons on the bottom toolbar have followed suit. Additionally, images on the front page have been reduced in size slightly, leaving more room for the articles’ headlines and sub-headlines.
Aesthetic changes aside, the other big update to NYTimes for iPhone is the ability to receive breaking news alerts via push notification. That means you can be in the know about the biggest news around the world, even when the app is closed.
Finally, the app has added a Favorites section for bookmarking sections and articles for quick access. And there’s even been a bunch of content added, like the Times’ blogosphere, which includes Bits (for technology) and DealBook (for business).
Of course, an update to the NYTimes app wouldn’t ordinarily be big news, except this update arrives mere days before March 28, the date that the Times’ paywall is planned to take effect. Under the new model, non-paying readers will only have access to 20 free articles a month. If you want more than that, you have to choose among three monthly subscription plans: $15 for NYTimes.com and smartphone access; $20 for NYTimes.com and tablet access; or $35 for access to all three digital venues.
I guess someone at the Times thought the iPhone app needed sprucing up before they started charging people $15 every month to see it. And, I must admit, it’s a pretty beautiful news reading experience. Perhaps even worth paying to see.
Sadly for Android users, NYTimes for their device hasn’t seen an update since late November. I’ve contacted the Times to learn when the Android app might see an update, but have not yet received reply. Either way, it’s clear that the company is primarily targeting iPhone and iPad users ahead of other platforms.
The tech world waits in eager anticipation to see how users take to the NYTimes model (and their pretty new iPhone app).
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