New layout poor. VERY SLOW LOAD. Commenting broken. Section interface bad. Intrusive ads!
Great newspaper; very weak app!
February 21, 2019 update: The new visual design is a step back. One long scrolling list of headlines is a poor substitute for the prior inviting newspaper layout. The slow loading of many stories and columns persists.
OVERVIEW — DOWN ANOTHER STAR
Message to the Developers: A whole bunch of problems have existed for nearly two years. It's time to fix the app!
MAJOR PROBLEM WITH REFRESH
The app loads stories or refreshes VERY, VERY SLOWLY. In other news apps —e.g., the Washington Post and The Guardian — loading or refreshing of articles and columns happens immediately. For the New York Times, however, I can count the many seconds it takes! The other morning and now this morning, it took 30 seconds to load an article and a column! When nothing happened, I even tapped the article *four* times without any indication from the app that anything was going on. In contrast, the other major news apps go *immediately* to the articles and columns. This glaring defect dramatically reduces the app's usability!
COMMENTING SYSTEM BROKEN!
First, comments appear in a thin column on the right, making them hard to read.
Second, the text entry box often removes paragraph breaks making people's comments VERY LONG rivers of prose that are hard to process.
Third, and most frustrating of all, when editing or typing in a comment, the app repeatedly jumps the cursor to the end of the comment! So, you start adding a sentence in the middle, or correcting one, and suddenly discover your text has been appended to the end of the *entire* comment, not where you were! This is the only app that behaves like this! It's not a matter of an inadvertent or stray finger of thumb tap moving the cursor. In fact, to stop the behavior, one has to copy the text, leave comments, and return. That works for a bit until it starts happening again.
Fourth, a major bug —the comments routinely show a duplicated series of comments. Come on, Times! Get your programmers on this and fix it all!
STILL DOESN'T RETURN TO WHERE ONE LEFT OFF
Whenever a user returns to the app, it doesn't remember where you last were. Instead, it scrolls back to the top of the page! We'd like to pick up where we left off. In other words, if we had been 2/3 down the list of stories, it should come back to that place!
It's been many months with that problem, too, and you still haven't fixed it!
MINI-CROSSWORD PROBLEMS REMAIN!
You still haven't updated the crossword display problems! The clues remain rendered on the right in a tiny font — cannot read them easily. The puzzle itself, though, has HUGE SQUARES! It's all ridiculous looking. The developers should be embarrassed. The clues are OK sized above the keyboard. Bring back the original version!
Also, because the newspapers sections now scroll, one right after another, the mini-crossword is no longer at the bottom of the screen, where one could easily slide to! There should be a one-tap option to get to it.
A big problem remains the intrusive ads— even for PAYING subscribers. The articles are littered with ads; more than ever; and are large. One often thinks the story has ended and may not realize that it continues below the "fold".
Those of us who subscribe should NOT have to face ads--other newspapers (e.g., The Guardian) do NOT hit you with ads.
BACKGROUND POWER ISSUE
Why does your app use *background* battery power -- even when Background App Refresh is turned off?! Why?! Please fix that!
SECTION REARRANGING IS A MESS
There's no indication that one can drag and drop sections in the pull down list. There's no way of hiding or deleting sections from that list — or, adding other sections, e.g., particular blogs and columnists! In fact, there used to be a set of blogs and columns at the bottom of the list — that's now gone entirely!
The drag-and-drop interface doesn't work properly, either! If you TRY to drag a section up to the top, it stalls and then jumps. The old system of Edit, drag-and-drop, move, add, or hide sections, including blogs, worked well.
WHAT'S REALLY NEEDED IS A TABBED INTERFACE
The pull-down menu interface, however, is a weak one. A tab bar is the fastest way of moving among sections. It should be an option. The sections that one sets up should appear in a tab bar at the top of the screen, for instant one-tap access. Take a look at the Washington Post app to learn how to do this right.
MISSING LINK FOR SUPPORT
Also, please provide a link to support here on iTunes! Your link goes to your web page promoting the app, but we already have it! We want to provide feedback to you and get support!
February 15, 2018
Most problems still here! Install the new version and it discards ALL of your carefully organized sections and settings. It replaces your classic iPhone version, too! That’s bad design and bad form.
The rotating, moving ads remain a major distraction — who clicks on them, anyway, except inadvertently?! Plus, we've bought a subscription, so we shouldn't have to see them. Turn OFF the intrusive ads!
The shift to photos and skeuomorphic newspaper layout is still bad. Too busy and takes up too much room. Give us the option to use the iPhone app or layout — one column of stories and headlines, not side-by-side.
Another issue: the sections keep scrolling one after another, without end. The older design was more usable — the only stories for that section come to an end. Here, too, give us an option to return to the old, better way of doing things!
August 6, 2017
The latest update REPLACED the excellent NY Times *iPhone* version! That's not cricket! That version was superb on the iPad (clean look in 2x mode). It presented the articles in each section in a consistent, vertical headline list, making it easy to scroll through and locate ones of interest.