Why This Times Reader Abhors the TimesReader

While we're on the topic of readers: I wanted to like the TimesReader. I really did. I want a nifty screen experience that goes farther than a browser can, expands, contracts, shows ads seamlessly, can be read even when I'm not online, has great visuals. I've been playing with it for a few weeks now, since they relaunched it for free for print subs.

But the TimesReader is less functional and useful than NYTimes.com: no good search of decades of material, no sub-divisions of its sections (like Media and Advertising within Business section), no video section, and on and on. Plus, it's clunky, and hogs memory and slows other applications, and when I try to disconnect asks me if I really want to, and doesn't show me "today's paper" if I want to peak at the Times the way my mother-in-law might have read it, and it doesn't always show me the photos with the piece, unless I happen to click on the link to "show photos" or blow up the page to the correct size for that. I get it free because I subscribe to the weekends in print. But why would I pay $14.95 per month rather than just read it on the Web? I'm no tech genius, but I do know how to grab pages I want and read them offline. Plus my browsers and screens are pretty legible, and set the way I like.

I'm sure there are folks at the Times who are excited about the possibilities to show and track ads of adjustable sizes and have a proprietary platform. But what about the user?

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